Redbridge teenagers defend Seven Kings chicken shops

A general view of a fast food store which is about to open. Local residents are concerned about the

A general view of a fast food store which is about to open. Local residents are concerned about the number of fast food stores in Seven Kings (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Teenagers have waded into a ­debate over fried chicken – defending their love of takeaways.

A general view of a fast food store which is about to open. Local residents are concerned about the

A general view of a fast food store which is about to open. Local residents are concerned about the number of fast food stores in Seven Kings (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

The borough’s young people have spoken out in the wake of opposition to a new chicken shop set to open near Seven Kings station – the 10th fast food place in the area.

Vinny Hazard, 16, said: “Young people go to chicken shops because the food is good. Most of our friends eat it and we’re in here every day.”

Thiago Aletini, also 16, said: “If people are against having chicken shops, they don’t have to go and eat it, they should eat elsewhere.”

Chicken shop Tasty customer Jasraj Garcha, 16, from Seven Kings, said: “The shops are cheap and the food tastes nice, so I come once or twice a week.

A general view of a fast food store which is about to open. Local residents are concerned about the

A general view of a fast food store which is about to open. Local residents are concerned about the number of fast food stores in Seven Kings (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson


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“All of my friends come here because healthier food is too expensive.”

The debate comes in light of recent figures which showed ­almost one in four Redbridge children as being obese.

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Former councillor Ali Hai spoke out against the new shop under construction in High Street, Seven Kings, which used to be Seven Kings Off Licence. It was granted permission from Redbridge Council to open as a fried chicken shop.

More than half of the food businesses in the area offer low-cost fast food, the majority of which sell fried chicken and chips. Nine out of the current 14 places to eat in the area sell fried chicken, burgers and pizzas.

An SSS Chicken and Pizza employee said demand was high. “It’s up to parents and teachers to educate children on having a balanced diet,” he added.

But Mr Hai said: “At the ­moment it seems all you can see are chicken shops in the area and it just smells like fat and lard when you walk down the High Road. It’s disgusting.”

Health and Wellbeing cabinet member Cllr Wes Streeting said the council was keen to support businesses. “I do have serious public health concerns especially when they’re located next to schools and I’m looking at what the council can do in terms of changing its approach to planning and licensing.”

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