‘No fry zone’ near schools opposed by council bosses

Wicklow councillors to vote on banning fast-food outlets within 400m of campuses

A ban on fast-food outlets setting up within 400m of schools, parks or playgrounds is being opposed by Wicklow County Council management.

Wicklow councillors are due to vote on the proposed ban in the coming weeks.

The ban, written into the council's draft development plan last November, received 206 submissions during a period of public consultation, 202 of them in favour, two calling for more debate and two – including one from Kentucky Fried Chicken – against.

Pressure for the ban came from Greystones-based No Fry Zone 4 Kids, a campaign group formed after the council granted planning permission to McDonald’s for a restaurant, drive-thru and takeaway on a site immediately opposite a three-school campus.


Pro-ban submissions

While most submissions in favour of the ban came from the public, others came from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland’s


Group on Obesity, the HSE, DCU, TCD, UCG, the Irish Heart Foundation’s Nutrition Council, Safefood, and the Association for the Study of Obesity, among others.

Two submissions calling for greater consideration of the issues were from the Department of the Environment and former TD Billy Timmins.

Two submissions against the ban included one from an individual concerned about jobs, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, which said it offered a wide range of foods to be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.

Wicklow County Council chief executive Bryan Doyle recommended the objective be amended to remove the specified distance of 400m and to require “careful consideration” of fast food applications.

Philip Moyles of No Fry Zones 4 Kids said they were hoping they could rely on the councillors to carry the ban as in the original draft.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist