Petition launched to stop East Ham fish shop becoming flat

Ali Onay, right, and his father Veli are at risk of losing their family business

Ali Onay, right, and his father Veli are at risk of losing their family business - Credit: Archant

A petition has been launched to stop a popular East Ham fish and chip shop being converted into a two-bedroom flat.

Ali Onay at work at Paul's Fish Bar

Ali Onay at work at Paul's Fish Bar - Credit: Archant

Paul’s Fish Bar, in Vicarage Lane, has been run by Veli Onay for the past 27 years.

He had hoped to pass on the business to his son, Ali, but now that his lease is coming to an end, his landlord has applied for permission to convert it into a residential property.

Ali, 46, said: “It is sad because we are losing all the hard work we have put in, and our customers.

“I don’t know what we are going to do.”

More than 300 people have signed a petition calling for the planning application to be refused, including East Ham South councillor Quintin Peppiatt.

“I think it is wrong that local small businesses are being forced out because of rising property prices and landlords trying to make as much money as possible,” he said.

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“I think there should be local services for local people and not everything going to housing.

“I will be strongly arguing in support [of the business remaining] and there are a lot of people in my ward who are also behind the petition.”

Residents have also taken to the council’s planning application website to voice their dismay at the proposal.

Mark Patchett, of Vicarage Lane, wrote: “I could quite understand this application if the shop was empty and unviable as many of them have been on the parade over recent years, but the parade is now thriving and there are no vacant units.

“We need to keep our local shops as part of a thriving local centre and we don’t need any more contrived sub-standard flat conversions.”

To sign the petition, visit Paul’s Fish Bar.

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