Creating healthier environments can improve our health. For example, controlling how many hot food takeaways there are on our streets can help to eat more healthily we call this a ‘healthier food environment’ so that people can make better food choices and reduce obesity. For example sometimes local councils can reject applications for new hot food takeaways to prevent them opening up. However, these decisions to say no are often appealed by the company wanting to open the takeaway. When someone appeals it is the job of the National Planning Inspectorate to decide whether or not to permit the takeway to open. The aim of this research is to explore and examine how The National Planning Inspectorate makes these decisions.
We have talked to practitioners and national organisations (such as Public Health England) in the development of the research questions, the proposal and importantly the translation of this research. We will work closely with our advisory group, which includes practitioners from planning and public health, as well as with national organisations and government bodies.
Our 12 month study will identify four local councils in England where the rejection of the new hot food takeaway was recently upheld and four areas where the decision was dismissed. In these case study areas we will analyse the documents applicable to each case and aim to interview at least four people including the business owner, planning inspectorate, planning officer and public health professional.
What is the ultimate aim of this study?
The results from this research will provide public health officers, policy planners and development control planners with a greater understanding of The National Planning Inspectorate’s decision making processes and the importance of public health evidence. The ultimate aim of this study is to help local councils defend appeals from the shop owners when they have decided not to allow takeaways to open.