Northampton

Decision due on chip shop near schools proposal

A bag of chips
Image caption Campaigners fear children's health could be harmed by eating chips from the takeaway

A controversial bid to open a fish and chip shop near two Northamptonshire schools is due to be decided by councillors later.

Plans have been put forward to turn the disused corner shop in Rushden into a takeaway, but some residents claim it would harm the health of children.

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

East Northamptonshire councillors meet on Wednesday night to rule on the plan.

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.

Members were wrongly directed not to take account of the school's proximity, the court ruled, and the council must now reconsider the application.

Dorothy Maxwell, from the Rushden campaign group, said: "Our concerns are that roughly 500 children would pass this premises every day and if this business is open... children would go there rather than eat healthy food."

She said earlier that the nearest school was 984ft (300m) from the site on the corner of Higham Road and Prospect Avenue.

Bill Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, said: "I don't like to hear fish and chips called an unhealthy food because we believe it is healthier than most other takeaways and just because children walk past a shop doesn't mean they are going to go in."

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