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Takeaway Food Outlets (Planning Policy and Guidance)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 18th December 2019.

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Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Government how its planning policy and guidance to local authorities on takeaway food outlets take account of its policies on healthy eating. (S5O-03937)

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

The 2018 report “Research Project: To Explore the Relationship Between the Food Environment and the Planning System” notes the lack of interaction between Scottish planning policy and diet. We have committed to exploring that issue further as we prepare the fourth national planning framework, and we would welcome discussion of those issues as part of the engagement programme for NPF4.

Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

In my Midlothian North and Musselburgh constituency, there have been several instances in which a multiplicity of new takeaway food outlets have been rejected by both the local community and the council but approved by the Government reporter on appeal. Are stronger guidelines that favour healthy eating likely to be developed?

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

I agree completely that planning policy should do all that it can to support health and wellbeing in all our communities across Scotland. As I said in my previous answer, I would welcome views in the chamber and beyond on how that can be achieved.

We will begin early engagement on NPF4 from January next year. In the meantime, I should say that reporters are required to make their decisions in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise, and having fully considered all the evidence before them, including representations from members of the public. I would welcome any submission that Mr Beattie, or any other member, wants to make so that we can get this right for NPF4.

Photo of Brian Whittle Brian Whittle Conservative

What is the minister’s response to a council in England that has managed to implement a food van exclusion zone around schools? Will the Scottish Government consider that as a way forward in healthy eating planning?

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

As I have said, I would welcome a submission on this from any member. If they want to provide evidence of what has happened elsewhere, I am more than willing to look at it.

National planning framework 4 will see us go out and consult as many stakeholders as possible on a variety of issues. Many have an interest in healthy eating and the part that planning can play in that. As I said to Mr Beattie, I would welcome any submission from Mr Whittle on this subject.