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Crooked House owners ordered to rebuild pub that was torn down days after fire

The Crooked House pub was demolished two days after a fire ripped through it (PA Wire)
The Crooked House pub was demolished two days after a fire ripped through it (PA Wire)

The owners of the Crooked House, dubbed “Britain’s wonkiest pub” have been ordered to rebuild it after it was destroyed last year.

South Staffordshire Council has handed the pub owners an enforcement notice that “requires the building to be built back to what it was prior to the fire”.

The historic West Midlands pub, in Himley, near Dudley, was demolished two days after it was gutted by a fire last August.

The burned remains of The Crooked House pub, which was later demolished (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)
The burned remains of The Crooked House pub, which was later demolished (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)

In a statement, the council said it had "engaged with the owners" since the pub was destroyed, "but has reached a point where formal action is considered necessary".

The council said the enforcement notice requires the building to be rebuilt by February 2027.

If work is not completed within the time limit, the local authority can prosecute for failure to comply with the notice, it added.

The owners of the site have 30 days to appeal the notice.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street welcomed the order for the 18th-century pub to be restored.

He posted on X: "Crooked House ordered to be rebuilt.

"An enforcement notice has been issued against the owners for its unlawful demolition.

"They have been ordered to rebuild the pub back to what it was before the fire - just as we've been lobbying for.

"Fantastic work from South Staffordshire Council."

The historic pub was sold by pub company Marston’s to a private buyer two weeks before the fire, after being on the open market since January.

The Crooked House was originally built as a farmhouse in 1765 before becoming a pub in the 1830s.

Its name and appearance are owed to nearby mining — the site is surrounded by quarries — which has seen an effect known as subsidence cause a sloping of the earth in the area.

Campaigners have called for legal changes to protect pubs after the pub was destroyed, which they called a “national scandal”.

The Campaign for Pubs wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, urging a change to planning law which would prevent pubs aged 50 years or older from being sold for alternative use, converted or demolished until they had been marketed as a pub for at least a year.

South Staffordshire Council previously said it had given permission to the Crooked House’s owners to demolish the first floor of the building on safety grounds but had not agreed to, nor deemed necessary, the site’s total demolition.