PLANS for a new town centre takeaway have been rejected over concerns about its impact on public health.

An application to change the use of the vacant Civil Claim Services premises at 13 Market Street in Northwich into a hot food takeaway was received by Cheshire West and Chester Council last year.

No details as to the type of eatery were included in the proposals, which would have also seen a flue extraction system installed at the rear of the building.

But Public Health raised concerns over the number of takeaways already in the vicinity of the application site, which sits in a ward with above average levels of childhood obesity.

A spokesman for Public Health said: "This proposed application would be located close to a number of existing hot food takeaways.

"At least four of which can be found within a five-minute (0.3 mile) walk on Witton Street, with a further five within a seven-minute walk on Chester Road.

"Research indicates that increased access to unhealthier food retail outlets is associated with increased weight status in the general population, and increased obesity and unhealthy eating behaviours among children residing in low income areas

"While we appreciate this is only one further takeaway restaurant serving less healthy food and drink options, this would still be one extra then is currently available and it is this cumulative impact that is of concern.

"At age 10 to 11 years, more than three in 10 children are living with overweight or obesity in this ward.

"Long term impacts of eating food high in fat, sugar and salt are of concern to public health. There is a correlation between diet and health, and the contribution played by fast food must be taken into account."

According to the plans, the takeaway would include a seating area inside and create one full-time and two part-time jobs.

But Cheshire West and Chester Council refused the plans on Monday, January 29.

A council report recommending refusal said: "The development would be in an area of high concentration of hot food takeaways, in a ward with higher than average childhood obesity levels and in a ward of higher than average deprivation.

"It has not been demonstrated how health and wellbeing has been taken into account and that the development would not give rise to significant adverse effects.

"Subsequently, the proposed development is likely to have a significant cumulative impact on public health as a result of an additional hot food takeaway in this location and would therefore not promote and positively contribute to the health of the borough."