HEADTEACHERS at two Shirley schools have strongly objected to plans to build a fast food restaurant and drive through in the area.
The plans to build the new KFC on Stratford Road have already enraged local residents and councillors, who say the outlet will encourage childhood obesity, litter and traffic problems.
The heads of Shirley Heath Junior - which will be ‘on the doorstep’ of the KFC - and Light Hall School have also officially objected to the proposal.
Gail Knight, headteacher at Shirley Heath said: “Over half of our pupils use the passageway that runs parallel to the site of the proposed new restaurant on a bi-daily basis. Having studied the plans in detail, it is clear that the presence of a ‘drive-thru’ restaurant directly next to this passageway will present a strong and immediate danger to the pupils at Shirley Heath Junior School who use this area.
“Whilst many of our pupils appreciate and display awareness of road safety, given their age and inexperience the proposed KFC site is without doubt a major cause for concern.
“Our school was awarded ‘Healthy Schools’ status in 2011. Furthermore, it was noted in our OFSTED inspection that ‘The pupils’ development in adopting a healthy lifestyle is outstanding for their age.’
“Shirley Heath Junior School has a strong ethos regarding the health of our children and actively promotes healthy eating.
“This extends to pupils only being able to consume fruit and vegetables during break-time, providing advice to parents on how to provide healthy lunch boxes and ensuring that all food cooked at lunchtime is cooked within healthy eating parameters.”
Vic Scutt, headteacher at Light Hall and chair of governors Shirley Moss said the new KFC would ‘undermine’ the school’s efforts to increase children’s awareness of the need for healthy eating.
“It will also create severe congestion around school entrances, making the access roads more dangerous and further adding to major concerns for health and safety. In addition, problems of litter and pollution generally, all within the vicinity of young children in schools, will impact negatively on health,” they added.
Two petitions against the scheme, with over 460 signatures between them, handed to Solihull Council this week.