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Developers Who Leveled ‘Britain’s Wonkiest Pub’ Ordered to Rebuild

WorldDevelopers Who Leveled ‘Britain’s Wonkiest Pub’ Ordered to Rebuild

The Crooked House, a pub in England’s West Midlands that was demolished last year after a suspicious fire, could soon be rising from the rubble after its owners were ordered to restore the pub to its former lopsided glory.

The tavern, known as “Britain’s wonkiest pub” for its slanting walls and floors, was sold to a private developer in July 2023. Around two weeks later, the pub caught fire in a suspected arson attack and the developers who had bought it brought in the bulldozers. Locals were outraged. With the support of local politicians, they launched a public campaign to see the building restored and someone held accountable for its destruction.

Now, they may be one step closer to those goals becoming a reality. South Staffordshire Council, the local authority for the area where the pub once stood, on Tuesday ordered the owners to rebuild the pub within three years, restoring it using original materials and with its original character maintained.

The council said in a statement that it had “engaged with the owners since the demolition, but has reached a point where formal action is considered necessary.” An initial attempt to reach the owners by phone and email went unanswered.

The pub, located in Himley, a small village just west of Dudley, was not a listed building, which would have given it legal protection. But it was considered a “heritage asset” and registered on the Historic Environment Record as a building of local importance, according to the council.

Roger Lees, the leader of South Staffordshire Council, said in a statement that a “huge amount of time and resources” had been put into investigating the unauthorized demolition of the pub, and the enforcement order had not been taken lightly.

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