Pizza vending machine plans withdrawn after obesity row

A pizza vending machine similar to one that was planned for Southsea Credit: Pizza Rebellion

Controversial plans to install a pizza vending machine on Southsea seafront have been withdrawn.

Nine people objected to the planning application submitted by Portsmouth City Council for the D-Day Story car park, including Southampton GP Karen Malone, who believed the scheme was 'promoting the mindset that ultra-processed food is healthy'.

She said: "We currently have an epidemic of both obesity and poor metabolic health, leading to chronic diseases that impact negatively on the health and wellbeing of the community.

"I see the effects that this has daily on both patients, their families and the NHS.

The idea for the vending machine was developed during the first lockdown. Credit: Pizza Rebellion

"The continual legacy of health problems that are a direct consequence of poor eating habits will also have an increasing financial impact on the services that the council will be required to provide long-term.

"It is the council's responsibility to promote good health and not encourage/support bad ones. I have no doubt that there is already a plethora of fast food establishments within the area and residents won't miss this one."

Her comments were echoed by Mark Hancock of The Grange Surgery in Petersfield who called on the council to withdraw the application and instead put a greater focus on improving the health of people in the city.

But separate concerns were raised by Hampshire police designing out crime officer Stuart York who warned the presence of the machine could increase incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

The council said its plan for the Pizza Rebellion machine was part of work to increase the provision of food and drink along the seafront

After the application's submission in April, a spokesperson said: "This vending machine is an innovative idea and could be very popular."

But the application has now been withdrawn with the council now searching for an 'alternative suitable location'.