Does Turriff need another takeaway food outlet?

Duff Street public toilets, image from Google Street View

With the planning application to change the former public toilets on Duff Street to a takeaway food outlet due before the Formartine Area Committee this morning, does the question, does Turriff need another takeaway food outlet, need to be asked?

Aside from the parking and traffic issues that this potential takeaway could cause, is there a need for it?

In 2013 The Scotsman ran a piece, based on a study by Weight Watchers, on how many takaways there were in Edinburgh, stating that Edinburgh beats Glasgow as ‘toxic’ fast food capital of Scotland. The study looked at takeaways, cafes and coffee shops per head of population and came up with a figure of one for every 725 people.

While Turriff doesn’t have any of the mainstream fast food takeaways, it does have 14 takeaways, cafes and coffee shops. Using the 2001 population data Turriff has a population of roughly 5,708 people, you don’t need to be a maths genius to work out that this means we have one takeaway, cafe or coffee shop for every 408 people. Which, according to the 2013 study by Weight Watchers, puts Turriff above first placed Manchester who only have one outlet per 492 of population.

Figures from the National Obesity Observatory show that the average number of takeaways in England is 78 per 100,000 so using this as a benchmark, Turriff should only have around 4 takeaways

According to the planning & design statement in the application this additional takeaway will make a material, albeit small scale contribution, towards the vitality and viability of Turriff town-centre.

Stephen Archer, Director of Infrastructure Services supports the planning application, saying in his report to the Area Committee,

Although the site is located just outwith the defined town centre boundary, it is within the settlement boundary of Turriff, therefore given it’s location it is considered that the proposed outlet will serve the town centre and increase the vitality and viability of the retail/commercial element of the settlement.

In 2012 Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian said in a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

  • Support may be needed to maintain diet quality with age and promote physical activity levels. Both these factors will reduce the prevalence of obesity and may also aid in improving wellbeing.
  • Be aware that the poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity levels amongst the working age adult population may lead to in creased resource use in the future as health conditions develop.

I’m not sure how approving another takeaway food outlet fits in with maintaining diet quality.

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