Order to rebuild Crooked House ‘fantastic news’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Authority announcement: South Staffordshire Council has ordered the Crooked House to be rebuilt
Authority announcement: South Staffordshire Council has ordered the Crooked House to be rebuilt

Related tags Property Legislation

South Staffordshire Council has served an enforcement notice on the owners of the Crooked House in Himley.

The enforcement notice, which was served today (Tuesday 27 February), was for the unlawful demolition of the building, as it was a breach of planning control.

The council said it had engaged with the pub’s owners since its demolition but had reached a point where formal action was considered necessary.

There is a time for compliance of three years from today’s date but the notice can be appealed within 30 days.

If this happens, an independent planning inspector will hear the case and the council will have to defend the serving of the notice.

Right action

If the notice is not appealed and not complied with within the time limit, it will be considered that an offence has been committed and the council can prosecute for failure to comply with the it.

South Staffordshire Council leader Roger Lees told the BBC​: “A huge amount of time and resources have been put into investigating the unauthorised demolition of the Crooked House.

“We have not taken this action lightly but we believe it is right to bring the owners, who demolished the building without consent, to account and we are committed to do what we can to get the Crooked House rebuilt.”

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) called on the Government to strengthen planning policy and enforcement legislation​ to safeguard historic venues after a parliamentary debate on the protection of heritage pubs in November last year.

Systematic change needed

On the reports the Crooked House will be rebuilt, pub and club campaigns director Gary Timmins said: “The destruction of the Crooked House was a national tragedy so it’s fantastic news the owners have been ordered to rebuild the pub brick-by-brick.

“This is exactly what we were hoping to hear from South Staffordshire Council and it is testament to the hard work of all the dedicated campaigners who stepped up and fought for the Crooked House.

“It has also been great to see Marco Longhi and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street champion this cause.

“It’s now vital systematic change happens to ensure the Crooked House is the last time we see such as a shocking loss.

“Unfortunately, CAMRA is still investigating eight [cases] from 2023 where pubs appear to have been demolished or converted without apparent planning permission.

“We’re calling for the Government to bolster planning policy so unscrupulous developers know they will face action if they breach the law.”

The Crooked House burned down in August​ last year and was bulldozed​ less than 48 hours after the blaze.

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