Owners who demolished Crooked House pub after fire ordered to rebuild it

The owners of the Crooked House pub, which was burned down and then demolished last year, have been ordered to rebuild it in its original form after being issued an enforcement notice for unlawful demolition.

The mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said the news marked a “monumental day” in the campaign to rebuild the 260-year-old pub in Himley, famous for its wonky floors.
“They have been ordered to rebuild the pub back to what it was before the fire, just as we’ve been lobbying for,” he said.

The enforcement notice, issued by South Staffordshire district council on Tuesday, states that the building must be “built back to what it was prior to the fire” within three years. The owners have 30 days to appeal against the notice. The council said it had engaged with the owners since the demolition, but the situation had “reached a point where formal action is considered necessary”.

The leader of the council, Roger Lees, said: “We have not taken this action lightly, but we believe that 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.”

Paul Turner, a local resident who has helped to spearhead the campaign for a rebuild, said he was “absolutely delighted” by the news. “This is what we’ve been looking for, and we’re really happy we’ve now got the law on our side,” he said. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to be straightforward and fast. We’ve got the bricks stored in containers but we don’t know how quick and easy it’s going to be with the compliance from the owners. “We can’t get too excited too quickly, but we are delighted.”

Originally built as a farmhouse in 1765, The Crooked House is thought to have been a pub since about 1830. Its lopsided appearance was caused by mining subsidence that had caused it to sink – it was scheduled for demolition in the 1940s before the wonky building was made safe with reinforcements. The pub had become a popular tourist attraction in the area and visitors recalled how they would be given a marble to roll along the bar that appeared to be rolling uphill.


Article URL : https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/feb/27/owners-who-demolished-crooked-house-pub-after-fire-ordered-to-rebuild-it