East Ham chip shop lives to fry another day

Veli and Ali Onay outside their chip shop

Veli and Ali Onay outside their chip shop - Credit: Archant

A long-standing fish and chip shop has been granted a reprieve from closure after plans to covert it into a flat were quashed due to a council error.

Members of Newham’s Local Development Committee voted to turn Paul’s Fish Bar, Vicarage Lane, into a two bedroom flat back in November.

But the decision was overturned by the High Court last month after it was revealed that the council had failed to put up a public notice sign advising residents of the development plans.

The family takeaway has been operating in East Ham for approximately 100 years. For the past 27 it has been run by Veli Onay who said he was happy with the results of the court hearing.

His daughter, Ashkin Muharrem, added: “It is very good news for us. We have had the business in our family for so long so we are very happy that it can stay open for now.”

Ashkin said the decision to turn the shop into a flat was called in for a judicial review after the family sought legal help.

Solicitors found the council failed to follow the right procedures by not carrying out a full public consultation, she explained.

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Prior to deciding the fate of planning applications, local authorities are required to undertake a period of public consultation.

The chippy gathered support from more than 400 people in a petition that was launched to save the business in September after it was revealed the landlord had submitted plans to turn the shop into a two-bedroom flat.

Ashkin said: “We have gathered so much support from the local community over the past year.

“The shop is popular among residents and it would have been sad to leave. We are still unsure on what the future holds but for now we are staying.”

Despite the victory, developers have submitted the same plans again meaning the chippy’s future remains uncertain.

A Newham Council spokeswoman confirmed the High Court had “quashed” the decision of the Local Development Committee “due to a procedural error with the planning application”.

She added: “A site notice had not been erected at the site of the application during the planning process. A new planning application has been submitted to the council which residents will be able to make comments on.”

The new application will be determined in the next few months by the same committee.

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