New Penicuik takeaway banned from selling hot food during school hours

A new takeaway has been given the go ahead to open – as long as it does not sell hot food during school hours.

Ferhat Akgul applied for planning permission to change the use of an empty shop in Edinburgh Road, Penicuik, into a cafe and takeaway. However, planners have said he can only open if he agrees to restrict the sale of hot food to just two hours a day during the week.

Midlothian Council has guidance which restricts new takeaways from operating within 400 metres of a primary or secondary school and the new cafe will be within that boundary of Strathesk Primary School. Granting planning permission to the business, planners said that the cafe, which will be allowed to operate between 7am and 5pm, but will only be allowed to sell hot food for takeaway between 7am and 8am and 4pm and 5pm Monday to Friday .

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No restrictions are placed on weekend sales.

The site of the new takeaway in Penicuik.

The planning officers report said: “It is recognised that the planning system is limited in restricting access to unhealthy foods, as it is not possible to restrict the sale of unhealthy foods to school pupils from shops.

“However, it is reasonable for the council to prevent the change of use of premises to hot food takeaways on account of the adverse impact that they have on the diets of young people and the health of communities.

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“Hot food takeaways will not be permitted where they fall within 400 metres of the curtilage of a primary or secondary school.

“In the case of this planning application, Strathesk Primary School is within 400m and as such falls within the ’no hot food takeaway buffer’ around primary and secondary schools.

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“Therefore within school hours the offering of hot food takeaways will not bepermitted as a result of the proximity to the local school.”