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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Pirate birthday sunk by council
Morgan's party is on hold until his parents hear from the council
A family who wanted to fly a Jolly Roger pirate flag at their house for their son's birthday party have been told they need planning permission.

Richard Smith and Sharon Cooper from Stone in Staffordshire have postponed Morgan's sixth birthday while they await the outcome of their application.

Permission is required to fly anything other than national flags, a Stafford Borough Council spokesman said.

After a complaint the family were told they were in breach of planning laws.

The couple have paid 75 for the application.

The flag on the flagpole
The council said neighbours had complained about the flag

"I wanted to show my friends the flag but now I've got to take my flag down and I'm sad," Morgan told BBC News.

Will Conaghan from the council said: "It's okay to fly the England flags and the Union Jack flags but, flying anything else, you have to get proper planning permission for it.

"There's already been complaints from neighbours, so until they get permission, they'll actually be in breach of the planning law."

Morgan's father Richard said he was frustrated at what lengths they have had to go through.

"It just seems so ridiculous, you've got to see the funny side of it but, I'm also angry and upset at what I've got to go through to get permission to fly it."

The family will find out at the end of the month if permission has been granted.

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