A Bromley councillor has branded plans to ban takeaways from opening within a 10-minute walk from schools "Stalinist" and "meaningless".

West Wickham councillor and former Conservative MP Nicholas Bennett made the claims in a letter to local resident and dad-of-three Julian Alders.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is considering radical plans to tackle obesity including a ban on fast food chains opening within 400m of the school gates.

The recommendations came from former health minister and cancer surgeon Lord Darzi’s report Better Health London, commissioned by the Mayor.

Mr Alders, of Manor Park Road, wrote to Cllr Bennett to ask what effect Lord Darzi’s proposals, if approved, would have on plans for a KFC drive-thru in West Wickham.

In response, Cllr Bennett wrote: "Bromley Council has no policy of not allowing fast food outlets within 400 yards of a school and in my view should not do.

"Fast food, whether it be hamburgers, chicken, Indian, Chinese or Fish and Chips, sandwiches etc. are all legitimate products.

"Do we also ban shops which sell alcohol, ice cream, cigarettes from a similar radius?

"We live in a free society and frankly such a policy is meaningless, and rather Stalinist."

Mr Alders, who has three children under 13, has backed a campaign to stop a KFC drive-thru from opening on the closed La Rioja restaurant in Wickham Road.

He told News Shopper: "Councillor Bennett is completely out of touch with modern day parenting and their concerns over childrens’ health.

"As parents we need to take some responsibility. We can’t just ignore these health issues. We should be trying to change things not just going with the flow.

"We want to make London a healthier place. Things can change if enough people make a noise about this."

More than 1,700 residents have joined a Facebook group campaigning against plans for the KFC with many claiming it will pose a health hazard to school children.

Schools within a 10-minute walk of the La Rioja site include Oak Lodge Primary School on Chamberlain Crescent and St David’s College on Beckenham Road.

KFC chiefs are looking to submit a full planning application to Bromley Council in the coming weeks.

A Greater London Authority spokesman said the Mayor would formally respond to Lord Darzi’s recommendations later this year.

A spokesman said: "The London Health Commission chaired by Lord Darzi has come up with number of recommendations, which the mayor will respond to formally later this year.

"Councils concerned about the number of fast-food takeaways in their boroughs are already able to undertake a number of measures, from working with local businesses to make food healthier to using supplementary planning guidance to limit their proliferation.

"Advice on what councils can do is set out in the Takeaways Toolkit, which the London Food Board published in 2012."