Express & Star

Campaigners: New site appeal for Crooked House is 'outrageous'

The Campaign for Real Ale has added its opposition to the idea of The Crooked House being rebuilt on a new site.

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The burnt out remains of the Crooked House before it was demolished

Responding to the owners' suggestion that they rebuild the destroyed Crooked House, Himley in a different location, CAMRA pub and club campaigns director Gary Timmins, who lives in Walsall, said: “The suggested plan to rebuild the demolished Crooked House pub on a completely different site is nothing short of outrageous.

"The deliberate destruction of the Crooked House was an abhorrent stain upon the UK’s pub history, and CAMRA welcomed the news that the owners were handed an enforcement notice to rebuild the iconic pub.

“The proposal to simply move the Crooked House’s location for convenience is laughable, showing a complete disregard for pub heritage.

"CAMRA continues to call for the Government to implement stronger planning policies, so similar incidents of unlawful demolition can never happen again in the future.”

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has called the idea of a rebuild on a different site as "utterly laughable."

The idea of putting the pub along with appropriate parking and landscaping further north, off Crooked House Lane and as near to the highway junction with the Himley Road as would allow, was floated in response to South Staffordshire Council serving an enforcement notice ordering owners ATE Farms to rebuild the building in Himley to the state it was in prior to a fire which destroyed it last August. It was demolished a couple of days later in a move which was deemed ‘unlawful’ by the authority.

The owners have appealed the notice and a document setting out their grounds of appeal revealed their intention to rebuild the pub on other land they own.

The demolition sparked a huge uprising by campaigners calling for it to be rebuilt ‘brick by brick’ on the original setting.

A planning inspector has now been appointed to decide the appeal, which will be heard in July.

Staffordshire Police, which is treating the blaze at the Crooked House as arson, has made six arrests in connection with the incident.