Green Party councillor Georgina Milne voices concerns over fast-food restaurant near school

Monday February 26 2018

Green Party councillor Georgina Milne is supporting residents who object to a controversial planning application for a drive-through fast food restaurant close to homes and a primary school.

The East Belfast councillor said she has received a number of representations from residents close to Tesco Knocknagoney where a McDonalds restaurant is proposed.

“This restaurant is of deep concern to residents as it backs directly onto homes and also lies within five to 10 minutes walking distance of a primary school,” Councillor Milne said

“My objections to this planning application include concerns such as noise, litter, pollution and the scale of the development in a residential area.

“However, this particular development will be within approximately 350m of Knocknagoney Primary School.  This is of concern due to the mounting evidence indicating a link between obesity and access to fast-foot outlets.

“Many councils have already chosen to ban fast-food outlets within 400 metres of schools.

“Whilst no such regulations exist presently in Belfast, the city currently enjoys status as a part of the WHO European Healthy Cities network, which means that the health risks associated with such fast food outlets should be well understood.

“It would therefore be a win for public health if this were taken into account in the decision making process.”

Georgina MilneCouncillor Milne said a recent study by Cambridge University showed that exposure to fast-food outlets was found to be associated with increased consumption of fast food, and with increased obesity.

“Many experts in diet and nutrition have raised concerns with children’s and adults’ ready access to fast food,” she said.

“The WHO has recently highlighted the increase in obesity among children and adolescents in the European Region in Public Health Panorama, and children’s access to fatty & sugary foods has been highlighted as a growing area of alarm in public health.

“In this same issue of Public Health Panorama, studies reveal that 10 percent of children consume foods like pizza, burgers and chips more than three days per week.  The European Food and Nutrition Action Plan advocates for limiting access to fatty and sugary foods on the grounds of public health.

“I am deeply concerned that this planning application flies against everything we know about the relationship between obesity and access to fast food outlets and I fully support the residents who object to this development,” Councillor Milne said.

Note to editors:
Planning proposal LA04/2017/2776/F



Media Contact: Linda Stewart

028 9052 1141
07594 391264
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