Dudley and South Staffordshire

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

The return of The Crooked House?

Tuesday 27 February 2024

The Crooked House at Himley, which was demolished last year, may rise again.

The owners have now been told to rebuild it with South Staffordshire Council serving an enforcement notice for the unlawful demolition of the building.

The notice has been issued under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order 2015).

It requires the building to be built back to what it was before the fire which initially damaged it in August.

A statement from South Staffordshire Council says: "The council understands and empathises with the concern and interest following the demolition of the Crooked House, Himley in 2023.

"We are continuing to work with the police and other partners, including Health and Safety Executive (HSE), building control and Historic England, and our focus is on our own investigation regarding the planning and building control breaches with the aim of reaching a positive outcome.

"This remains our priority, and it is very important that whilst the council is still investigating the incident and considering our legal options and next steps, we do not comment on any element of the ongoing investigation, so that we do not potentially prejudice our enforcement action.

"We continue to urge everyone to stay off the site, not to breach the fencing, nor remove any materials as it may hamper ongoing investigations being carried out by multiple agencies. "

The owners have 30 days to appeal and the notice must be complied with within three years.

Reacting to the news that South Staffordshire Council have issued an enforcement notice, requiring the owners of the Crooked House, Himley to rebuild the pub brick-by-brick, Gary Timmins, CAMRA’s pub and club campaigns director, said: “The destruction of the Crooked House was a national tragedy, so it’s fantastic news that 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’s a 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 MP and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street champion this cause. It’s now vital that systematic change happens, to ensure that the Crooked House is the last time we see such a shocking loss. Unfortunately, CAMRA is still investigating eight from 2023 where pubs appear to have been demolished or converted without apparent planning permission. We’re calling for Government to bolster planning policy so that unscrupulous developers know they will face action if they breach the law.”