AN Ellesmere Port pizza place has had its application to open longer hours refused, amid council concern the proliferation of takeaways is helping fuel childhood obesity.

Caprinos Pizza on Marina Drive had applied to Cheshire West and Chester Council for retrospective approval on its takeaway offering, having originally applied in 2021 to open a takeaway at the site but amended to an 'eat-in restaurant', in response to concerns raised by the council's public health team.

As part of its planning permission back then, a condition was attached restricting the provision of takeaway food to no more than 20 per cent of the business’s total turnover, "to avoid the unit coming into a mixed use or sole use as a hot food takeaway."

Applicants had since sought permission to increase its takeaway sales so it could be classed as a restaurant and takeaway. It was also planned for the opening times to be increased to a 3am closure, instead of the current 11pm closing time.

A council planning officer noted of Caprinos: "There are still some tables inside but the appearance of the unit as a whole (and company website) is focused on delivery and collection (rather than a restaurant)," and that there were other takeaway food offerings on Marina Drive.

The council's public health team noted: "The location of the site is within 400 metres of a school, giving the fast-food a high level of accessibility to these school children.

"It also lies within an [area] which is in the top, most deprived, decile of deprivation, as highlighted by comments from Public Health. People who live in areas of higher levels of deprivation are more likely to suffer health inequalities.

"Childhood obesity in the ward, which the application site lies, is also higher than the national average, and the Cheshire West and Chester average, causing long-term implications on health.

"There are five hot-food takeaways within a five minute walk from the site (0.3 miles), and 12 within a one-mile radius. This gives a saturation within the area of this type of food, and a lack of healthy options."

The planning officer concluded: "The proposed development is likely to have a significant cumulative impact on public health as a result of an additional hot food takeaway in this location and would therefore not promote and positively contribute to the health of the borough."

The council refused the application.