A pizza place is on the verge of being kicked out of its Woolwich home and is trying to move into the abandoned plot next door.
The Rust Bucket Pizza Co in Love Lane, just off the town centre, is on land that is set to be cleared and all buildings demolished as part of a redevelopment scheme.
The demolition isn’t going to happen until another three years but owner Vito Marino said he is being told he can’t stay in his current building anymore.
Speaking to News Shopper, he said: “We were told we had to go. There was a little strip of land next door and we are working with the local authority to use the land there.
“It’s not so much about the space, it’s about the area. People who come say they can’t believe they are in Woolwich.
“We are a teeny tiny business, we thought we could be an inspirational force for other local little businesses.”
Mr Marino, originally from the small town of Positano near Pompeii, has written to the council asking for them to let him move into the abandoned building next door.
The pizza place will still have to move eventually, but this would give Mr Marino time to find a new home for his Woolwich pizza business.
An online petition to let Rust Bucket move has garnered almost 600 signatures and a paper petition has another 200 already.
Ali Wright wrote on the petition page saying: “I believe Rust Bucket adds much to the area and it makes me feel safer knowing that there is a business that encourages people to meet, talk and eat in the area surrounding Tesco.
“Before Rust Bucket was there I found this area unpleasant and scary.”
A spokesperson from Greenwich Council said: “The Rust Bucket seemed to prove very popular with local people when it opened earlier this summer; however it was without the appropriate planning approvals in place.
“Mr Vitaro is keen to use the site next to where he has previously operated from, which is owned by the Council, however, we are unable to grant permission – any use needs to go through the appropriate process of marketing the site, considering offers and making a recommendation to Members about disposal (either lease or sale).
"Mr Vitaro would also need to secure planning permission and there are some transport considerations that would need to be specifically addressed, as well as a licence.
“We greatly value the contribution of small local enterprises and wish to encourage and support them all we can. Our Planning team has provided extensive pre-application advice to Mr Vitaro, including giving him contacts to find an alternative location in Woolwich.
"Officers are trying to ensure the Council is as responsive as possible to Mr Marino’s needs but within the boundaries of ensuring we do so properly and fairly to other applicants and interested parties.”