Chip shop plan 'too near schools' in Northamptonshire

A fish and chip shop planned for a Northamptonshire town is facing opposition on the grounds that it is too close to two schools.

A disused corner shop in Rushden could be turned into a takeaway under an application sent to East Northamptonshire Council.

Nearby residents claim it would harm the health of schoolchildren.

They believe their campaign is helped by a High Court ruling over the opening of a takeaway near a school in London.

A judgement was made in June 2010 that Tower Hamlets Council had acted unlawfully when it gave the go-ahead for a fast food takeaway to open near to Bishop Challoner School in Shadwell.

Supported by schools

Members were wrongly directed not to take account of the school's proximity, the court ruled.

The council must now reconsider the application.

Dorothy Maxwell, of the Rushden campaign group 110 Higham Road, said students would use the takeaway instead of having lunch in the school.

She estimates the nearest school is 984ft (300m) from the site on the corner of Higham Road and Prospect Avenue.

The Ferrers Specialist Arts College and the Rushden Community College both support Mrs Maxwell's campaign group.

Mrs Maxwell said she had received a response from the Department for Education about the implications of the High Court ruling.

'National importance'

It said planning authorities had to give health "a higher priority when considering planning decisions".

Rushden MP Peter Bone told BBC Radio Northampton: "It does have national importance.

"If it is turned down because it is close to schools and it is to do with healthy eating, that would really be a very new idea."

A spokesman for the applicant's agent said they would not be commenting at this stage.

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