Crooked House owners appeal against rebuild order ‘concerning’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Pub blaze: the Crooked House burned down in a fire last August
Pub blaze: the Crooked House burned down in a fire last August

Related tags Property Legislation West midlands Health and safety

The news the owners of the Crooked House in Himley, West Midlands have appealed against South Staffordshire Council’s order to rebuild the pub has been labelled “concerning albeit fully expected”.

In August last year, ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ burned down in a fire. It was among 65 sites Marston’s announced for sale in January 2023 and its sale completed two weeks before the blaze.

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

The owners had 30 days in which to appeal the notice and the council said it had been advised an appeal had been lodged. It is now awaiting a date for the appeal and the appointment of a planning inspector.

Wider scandal exposed

Previously, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) called the destruction of the pub a national tragedy and said it was fantastic news when the Crooked House owners were ordered to rebuild it.

CAMRA also 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.

On the news the Crooked House owners have appealed the rebuild order, CAMRA pub and club campaigns director Gary Timmins said: “To hear the owners of the Crooked House in Himley have appealed against South Staffordshire Council’s enforcement notice to rebuild the demolished pub is concerning albeit fully expected news.

“The complete destruction of the Crooked House shocked the nation and struck a chord with the public, exposing a wider scandal of potentially unlawful pub conversions and demolitions."

Mockery of the hard work

He added: “The appeal is a mockery of all the hard work put in by dedicated campaigners who championed for the pub’s future.

“CAMRA is following the case of the Crooked House closely and believes accountability needs to be taken for the obliteration of the iconic pub.

“Systematic change to bolster planning policy is needed to avoid situations like this arising again in the future.”

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