Parents have two weeks to object to fastfood outlets

Parents in Co Wicklow have two weeks to make submissions on a proposed ‘no fry zone’ across the county, which would prohibit fast-food premises from being set up close to schools and playgrounds.

 Last month public representatives voted to include the so-called no-fry zone in the Wicklow County Development Plan.

Councillors will make a final vote on the ruling in September, following the closing date for public submissions on August 26. If, as expected, it gets the green light, it will mean takeaway outlets will be prohibited from operating within 400m of schools and playgrounds.

The move follows a popular campaign, led by the ‘No Fry 4 Kids Committee’, which was formed to oppose the opening of a McDonalds restaurant in Greystones in close proximity to three schools.

However, despite twice being granted planning approval, the fast-food giant eventually abandoned its plans for the Blacklion site, after site owner Lidl pulled out of the deal.

Supporters of the long-running campaign have argued that the proximity of fast-food outlets close to schools and playgrounds is likely to fuel Ireland’s already soaring childhood obesity problem.

According to a recent report, one in four Irish children is overweight, while a quarter of 11-year-olds are now clinically obese.


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