Fast food outlets near schools should be banned - Byrne
A motion calling on Wexford County Council to ensure that no new fast food restaurant or outlet can open within 500m of any school in the county was passed on the basis that it will go to the Forward Planning section of the council so as to impact on all future development plans. This will apply to all new applications for planning permission so that there will be no new fast food outlets within 500m of a school in the county.
Cllr Malcolm Byrne brought the motion following on from the application by McDonalds to locate one of their eateries within 50m of a school in Greystones. Cllr Byrne said the new Gorey Development Plan is coming up, suggesting that there could be strict rules in place with regard to fast food eateries being located near schools in the town. He said: 'No fast food outlets should be given planning permission due to the ongoing battle with obesity in this country.'
Cllr Johnny Mythen said children need to provided with healthy eating options.
'Are crisps, sweets etc included in this?'
Director of Services Tony Larkin said he was very supportive of the spirit of the motion, but said many schools in the county are located in close proximity to town centres which have fast food outlets. 'This would have a very sterilising effect on town centres.'
Cllr John Hegarty said: 'I support the idea but it's not clear, or black and white. Should this not be made as a submission in the development plan?'
Cllr Keith Doyle suggested allowing take away restaurants close to schools permission to open when schools are closed. 'Rather than bundling them all together. It's primarily against the McDonald's and Burger Kings.'
Cllr Mythen said one can't overestimate the obesity problem in this country. 'Some of the diet requirements need a huge radicalisation. The food children are getting needs to be assessed. We are spending this money to ensure that children are getting decent food.'