A pirate flag in your play area? You’ll need planning permission for that

A VILLAGE pub landlord was told to take down a toy pirate flag from a children’s play area because it breaches planning rules.

The landlord of the award-winning Goodmanham Arms Vito Longozzi said he thought it was a joke when a council enforcement officer turned up on his doorstep and said there had been a complaint about the flag.

The flag has been flying from a wooden boat in the children’s area for over a year but Vito was told that the council had received a complaint.

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He says the officer threatened him with court action if he did not take it down.

He said: “The officer said it was quite a serious matter because it was supposed to have planning permission.

“I could not believe it, I was appalled and disgusted.

“I said to the man: ‘is this your job? Is this what you do? Go around to little village pubs and demand that flags put up for the enjoyment of children are taken down?’”

He added: “It is not a big flag, it is a standard one which you would find in a play area by the seaside, it is something that is seen all over England.”

The pub, which Vito and his wife Abbie bought two years ago, was recently named the Campaign for Real Ale‘s regional Village Pub of the Year.

The visit followed days after a woman from Lincolnshire was warned that she and her partner could be taken to court by another council if they didn’t take down the flag she had put up in her back garden for her seven-year-old son Anthony.

East Riding Council initially said the flag breached national legislation but denied that the landlord had been threatened with any legal action.

A further statement yesterday said that they would not be taking any further action. It said: “The council received a complaint and had a duty to investigate. We can confirm that we have done this and no further action will be taken.”