Plans refused for 'Best Doner' shawarma kebab shop and barbers planned in former South Shields clothes shop

Plans to convert a former clothing store into business units for a barbers and kebab shop have been refused by council planning bosses.
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South Tyneside Council’s planning department registered a planning application for 172 Dean Road, Westoe, in August 2022.

This included separating the unit into two premises to create two new business uses, a barbers and a shawarma kebab shop.

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Submitted plans showed signage which named the two businesses as ‘5 Barber’ and ‘Best Doner’.

Stock picture c/o Pixabay of kebab meat.Stock picture c/o Pixabay of kebab meat.
Stock picture c/o Pixabay of kebab meat.

Works also included separating the premises using a plasterboard and timber wall, as well as two separate entrance doors and metal roller shutters.

During public consultation on the proposals, three letters of objection were submitted raising concerns ranging from the number of hot food takeaways in the area and increased traffic, to potential increases in noise and waste.

After considering the application and assessing it against planning policies, South Tyneside Council’s planning department refused the plans on September 29, 2022.

The main reason for refusal included the plans clashing with local planning policies and guidance aiming to promote healthy lifestyles and tackle obesity.

Picture c/o Google Streetview.Picture c/o Google Streetview.
Picture c/o Google Streetview.

In addition, the plans failed to comply with national planning rules due to the existing levels of childhood obesity in the area.

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Representations from South Tyneside Council’s public health department, set out in a council decision report, made a case for the plans to be refused on health grounds.

Public health experts noted that South Tyneside exceeds national levels of both obesity and numbers of fast food outlets, with a 93% increase of fast food outlets in the borough over the last nine years.

In addition, data from Public Health England (2018) showed South Tyneside had 111.9 fast food outlets per 100,000 population, compared to the England figure of 96.1 per 100,000 population.

Leannes as it was in 2009. Picture c/o Google Streetview.Leannes as it was in 2009. Picture c/o Google Streetview.
Leannes as it was in 2009. Picture c/o Google Streetview.

The public health statement adds: “Fast food is often a popular choice with children and younger people and can be considered a contributing factor to the increasing levels of obesity.

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“The proposed location for the outlet is within the Westoe ward and it is concerning to see that it will be in close proximity to Laygate Primary School.

“Our National Child Measurement Programme data shows that in 2020/21, 27.9% of our reception children and 54.2% of our year six children have excess weight (overweight and obese) in this ward.

“This data also shows us that children living in the most deprived areas, were more than twice as likely to be obese when compared [with] more affluent areas.

“The government have set a national ambition ‘to halve childhood obesity and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030′.

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“Working with both our internal and external partners we are playing our part in achieving this bold ambition which includes making healthier decisions, providing healthier options and creating healthier environments.

“This will also contribute to many physical health benefits, including reversing the emergence of type 2 diabetes in children.”

During the course of the application and following a site visit, plans were classed as ‘part-retrospective’ as the former clothes shop unit had already been subdivided with some signage erected.

According to planning documents, the applicant was also advised the plans would be recommended for refusal and indicated they may wish to amend the application.

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This included “removing the proposed hot food takeaway aspect of the scheme and to use both units as retail units” – however the application was left in its original form.

Following the council refusal, the applicant has the right to challenge the planning decision by lodging an appeal with the Secretary of State.

For more information on the plans and council ruling, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0691/22/FUL