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Students in fight against fast food joints near schools

Should there be a bylaw controlling how close fast food outlets can be to schools?

Two Linwood College students have called for the Christchurch City council to limit the number of fast food outlets close to nearby schools.

The plea was made at this morning's full council meeting and comes after local schools expressed their concern at the spread of fast food outlets within 100 metres of a local primary school.

Linwood College student Harriet Helms makes her submission before the council of why she think fast-food outlets need to go. Source: 1 NEWS

Linwood Avenue School principal Gerard Direen said it is "an increasing spread no one seems to be paying attention to in terms of regulations around it".

"So we're asking local and central government to consider are we OK with that uncontrolled spread?" he said.

There are now at least five fast food outlets near the decile two school.

And while parents are unsure if anything can be changed, they told ONE News there is a problem.

"I think there is – you've got Burger King, KFC and McDonald's and I see a lot of kids walking to school in the mornings drinking frozen Coke and that's not OK," a parent told ONE News.

"You can smell it when you pick your kids up from school and you end up having disagreements with them about how they want McDonald's, KFC and Burger King and it's not necessarily something you can afford – nor is it a healthy choice."

"We want something to change"

And it's not just the schools and parents who are concerned, with a number of students taking a lead in the discussion.

"We want something to change and it's not about making them all go away because everybody likes fast food sometimes but we do need to cut down on the amount and how close they are together," said Year 12 student Harriet Helms said.

The college's principal Richard Edmundson says it is also a health issue.

"It's taxpayers in the end having to pay to fix up our unhealthy lifestyle to which fast food outlets contribute," he said.

"So it's not just a Linwood issue I think, it's Christchurch and New Zealand wide – we all know the unfortunate health stats."

Linwood Avenue School principal in Christchurch is getting behind calls to control number of fast food outlets near schools. Source: Breakfast