Public Health concerns over plans for Castleford drive-thru close to Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre

A public health official has expressed reservations about controversial plans for a new fast food restaurant in Castleford.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 4:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st October 2021, 4:28 pm

Proposals for a drive-thru in the town centre's Bridge Street car park, next to Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre, were revealed earlier this year.

Developers have not revealed who could be in line to run the venue, saying in May they were in talks with a number of firms.

Now, a member of Wakefield Council's public health team, who are routinely consulted on planning applications, has said they have concerns about the scheme.

Drive-thrus are generally associated with sugary and fatty foods, the council's Public Health team says

In his written assessment of the plans, John Wilcox cited worries about childhood obesity, poor air quality and noise and light pollution.

He said: "The majority of drive-thru restaurants offer foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat salt and sugar.

"Health data indicates a significant local need to reduce excess weight and obesity in children living in the Castleford Central and Glasshoughton ward.

"The prevalence of overweight children in both Reception Year and Year 6 is significantly worse in Castleford than the England average, as is the prevalence of obesity in Year 6 children.

If approved, the restaurant will be located in Bridge Street Car Park, close to Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre

Mr Wilcox added: "There is also potential for the proposed development to reduce air quality by generating an increase in motor vehicle traffic, in particular standing or slow-moving traffic.

"It is also possible that the development could negatively impact on health in number of other ways including contributing to noise and light pollution."

Mr Wilcox has asked for a health impact assessment, which would delve further into the issues, to be carried out before a decision on the drive-thru is made.

Of the 107 public comments currently attached to the application, 98 have been objections, with nine people supporting.

The developers, who want the restaurant to be open between 11am and 10pm every day, say the plans will create jobs, make "efficient use of previously developed land and deliver other "social benefits."

Local Democracy Reporting Service