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PIZZA PLAN: Rejection for plan to turn newsagents into a pizza shop

PIZZA PLAN: Rejection for plan to turn newsagents into a pizza shop

Plans to turn newsagents into a pizza shop in one of 'Britain's fattest towns' have been rejected - over concerns it is becoming the 'fast-food capital of the world'.

Council officials in Middlesbrough - where almost 70 per cent of adults are overweight -unanimously rejected the appeal as there are already "too many takeaways" in the area.

The application, recommended for approval by Middlesbrough Council officers, was to turn a corner shop into a pizza place.

However, on Friday (Jan 15) all 10 members of the planning and development committee voted to reject the bid over concerns about the number of takeaways already in the town centre.

There are around 200 takeaways in the town, roughly 1.47 per 1,000 residents.

According to Public Health England, almost 70 per cent of adults in Teesside town are classed as overweight or obese - considerably higher than the national average.

The town centre’s three Labour councillors objected to the plans for health reasons.

Conservative group leader Councillor David Coupe told the committee it was “yet another” hot food outlet and that there are already enough.

He said: “Where do you stop? We’re just going to be known as the pizza and parmo capital of the world the way we’re going.

“I accept Linthorpe Road is a little bit away but there are just more and more.”

The parmo, a cult delicacy in the North East, is a flattened piece of meat covered in bread crumbs that's deep-fried before being finished with bechamel sauce and melted cheese.

Current rules in Middlesborough prohibit takeaways making up more than 10 per cent of building uses in the town centre.

They also stop outlets opening within 400m walking distance of a secondary school and more than two takeaways opening next to one another.

Planning officials told councillors the Newport Crescent plan met the hot food regulations.

A planning report stated: “The proposed use is considered not to be harmful to the vitality and viability of the town centre as the proposal will not result in the proportion of hot food takeaways in the town centre exceeding 10 per cent.”

However, the vote to refuse the plans was backed 10-0.

Words: Barnaby Kellaway, South West News Service

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