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'No-fry' zone bans chipper near schools

NO-FRY zones around schools and playgrounds are part of new national planning regulations to reduce access for children to fast-food outlets.

Dublin, Wicklow and Cork local authorities have been proactive in preventing fast-food operations setting up close to schools after submissions from health campaigners and parents.

Now a new national drive – the Draft Local Area Plan – is under consultation.

TAKEAWAYS

WHEN ENACTED, IT WILL LEGALLY RESTRICT NEW TAKEAWAYS AROUND SCHOOLS AND CHILDREN'S AMENITY AREAS ON PUBLIC HEALTH GROUNDS.

Existing fast-food outlets will not be impacted unless they have to re-apply for planning.

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald hailed the move as "a very positive approach" by councils and An Bord Pleanala (ABP).

The move comes amid mounting concern over growing levels of obesity, diabetes and high-blood pressure among Irish children.

Discussions are currently taking place on the scale of the no-fry zone with health campaigners demanding a minimum 1.5km radius.

"I welcome the proactive approach being taken by local councils and ABP in seeking to restrict takeaway opening near schools," Ms Fitzgerald said.

"Examples of this include the motion being considered by Cork City Council and the decision of ABP to reissue planning permission for two take-aways next to schools in Lucan, Co Dublin, and Greystones, Co Wicklow."

Cork City Council is being asked by a health campaign group to pre-empt the regulations by imposing its own ban.

Cork Food Policy Council says such bans have been successful in the UK and US.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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