Express & Star

'Don't expect to see the Crooked House rebuilt any time soon'

News of the enforcement notice will be welcomed by campaigners wanting to see the Crooked House rebuilt – but they shouldn't hold their breath expecting action any time soon, writes Mark Andrews.

Last updated
The Carlton Tavern after being rebuilt

The pub was unlawfully demolished in the aftermath of last year's fire, and South Staffordshire Council has now made an order that the pub should be restored to how it was prior to the fire.

This is standard procedure for local authorities when dealing with breaches of planning law, and the penalty for dealing with such breaches is an unlimited fine. But forcing ATE Farms Ltd, owner of the Crooked House, to rebuild the pub, will be no easy feat.

Seeing the pint glass as half full, campaigners can take heart from the tale of the Carlton Tavern in Kilburn, London, which was unlawfully demolished in 2015 by Tel Aviv-based developer CTLX.

The company doubtless expected to be issued with a fine, which would have been factored in to the cost of its plans, and then allowed to reap the profits of redeveloping the site.

However, faced with a massive backlash from an outraged public, Westminster Council took the unprecedented move of ordering a brick-by-brick rebuild. An appeal inevitably followed, but a planning inquiry the following year confirmed the decision, ruling that the pub should be rebuilt 'in facsimile', from the red bricks to the distinctive tiled pub name.