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Popular Greenwich chippy told to remove Union Flag mural by council

Chris Kanizi and his business on Greenwich High Street (Nigel Howard)
Chris Kanizi and his business on Greenwich High Street (Nigel Howard)

Customers have come out in support of an award-winning fish and chip shop ordered by a council to remove a Union Flag mural put up without planning permission.

Golden Chippy owner Chris Kanizi, 65, paid £250 for the wall painting of a cartoon fish waving the banner which has become a popular stop for selfies in Greenwich, south east London.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich said it received a number of complaints about “unauthorised advert” in conservation area.

A spokesman added contrary to reports the row has nothing to do with the Union Flag or any of the painting’s contents.

Mr Kanizi said: “They also said people had been complaining, but I don’t believe that.

“Everyone who has talked to me say they love it.”

His business was rated London's best restaurant in 2016 by TripAdvisor. A 3000-signature petition is calling for a council U-turn.

Lewisham College worker Steve Cooper, 60, who has lived in the area for 20 years, told MailOnline the mural “makes the area a much brighter place”, adding: “I think it’s lovely.

“What’s wrong with the Union Jack? Is that not the national flag? Are we not in Britain?”

Francis Cao, 23, a shop assistant and university graduate, added: “It’s nice because the shop is quite famous as one of the best. It’s a local icon. It gives the area a bit of character.

“It’s quite fun. It also has the flag on it which is because it’s the national dish for Britain which is really cool.

Chris Kanizi and family (The Golden Chippy)
Chris Kanizi and family (The Golden Chippy)

“It's good branding. It gives the shop an identity and the area a local characteristic.

“I don't know why the council want to get rid of it. I feel that it just gives the area a good visual identity.”

The council said: “You may have seen several headlines over the weekend about a business in Greenwich.

“Whilst it’s not always appropriate to comment on individual cases, contrary to reports this has nothing to do with the Union Flag or any of the painting’s contents.

“The advert has been painted, without any permission, in a conservation area, close to a World Heritage Site.

“The council is acting according to Government planning laws, as it would with any unauthorised advert.

“Any suggestions this is because of the Union Flag are disingenuous and untrue.

“The business owner is welcome to apply for advert consent in line with the conservation area he is in.”