Crooked House owners say site is 'not viable' for rebuild

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Appeal: Crooked House owners appeal rebuild order and request new location
Appeal: Crooked House owners appeal rebuild order and request new location

Related tags Crooked House Property Staffordshire

Owners of the Crooked House have requested to reconstruct the pub in a new location as part of its rebuilding appeal, citing the existing plot as “not viable”.

The 18th​ century pub, in Himley, West Midlands, burnt down in August last year in a suspected arson attack, for which multiple people were arrested, and was subsequently demolished.

It was among 65 sites Marston’s announced for sale in January 2023 and its sale completed two weeks before the blaze.

South Staffordshire Council ordered the pub to be rebuilt to its original plans and served an enforcement notice​​ earlier this year for the unlawful demolition of the building as it was a breach of planning control.

Not viable 

The owners, ATE Farms Limited, then had 30 days to appeal the notice and the council has since confirmed an appeal was lodged​, with a request to rebuild the pub in a new location making up part of the plea.

Describing the current location as “not viable” for a pub, ATE Farms also asserted rebuilding on nearby land they also own would increase chances of the pub successfully becoming a “community asset”.

The appeal was accepted by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) and a planning inspector has since been appointed.

An inquiry is also due to be held on Tuesday 23 July to make a decision on the appeal.

Dedicated campaigners 

The owners also told the council they were "not in any way responsible" for the fire or ensuing destruction.

Previously, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) called the destruction of the pub, which was known as ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’, a national tragedy and said it was fantastic news when the owners were ordered to rebuild it.

Regarding ATE Farm’s rebuilding appeal, CAMRA pub and club campaigns director Gary Timmins said the news was “concerning albeit fully expected”.

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

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