Exploring the fast food and planning appeals system in England and Wales: Decisions made by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS)

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Background: The National Planning Policy Framework advocates the promotion of ‘healthy communities’. Controlling availability and accessibility of hot food takeaways is a strategy which the planning system may use to promote healthier environments. Under certain circumstances, for example, local authorities can reject applications for new hot food takeaways. However, these decisions are often subject to appeal. The National Planning Inspectorate decide appeals – by upholding or dismissing cases. The aim of this research is to explore and examine the National Planning Inspectorate’s decision-making. Methods: The appeals database finder was searched to identify hot food takeaway appeal cases. Thematic analysis of appeals data was carried out. Narrative synthesis provided an overview of the appeals process and explored factors that were seen to impact on the National Planning Inspectorate’s decision-making processes. Results: The database search identified 52 appeals cases. Results suggest there is little research in this area and the appeals process is opaque. There appears to be minimal evidence to support associations between the food environment and health and a lack of policy guidance to inform local planning decisions. Furthermore, this research has identified non-evidence-based factors that influence the National Planning Inspectorate’s decisions. Conclusion: Results from this research will provide public health officers, policy planners and development control planners with applied public health research knowledge from which they can draw upon to make sound decisions in evaluating evidence to ensure they are successfully equipped to deal with and defend hot food takeaway appeal cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalPerspectives in Public Health
Issue number5
Early online date25 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Teesside University Seedcorn funding.

Publisher Copyright:
© Royal Society for Public Health 2020.


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