Council probing potential breaches of regulation after demolition of landmark pub

A council is investigating potential breaches of the regulation after the overall demolition of a landmark pub inside 48 hours of a extreme hearth.

South Staffordshire Council mentioned its officers had carried out a web site go to to the Crooked House in Himley, close to Dudley, on Monday – however had not agreed to “the demolition of the whole structure” or deemed that it was mandatory.

Police and hearth service specialists are investigating the reason for a fireplace late on Saturday, which gutted the 18th century pub, two weeks after it was bought by brewer Marston’s to a agency primarily based in Warwickshire.

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi has mentioned he’s “completely devasted and angry at what has taken place” on the pub, and has written to Staffordshire Police “to question them on how they are conducting their investigation.”

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, is asking for the inn – often known as “Britain’s wonkiest pub” because of mining subsidence – to be rebuilt brick by brick and for a ban on another future use for the location.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, a day after a mechanical digger was used to scale back the remaining construction to rubble, the chief of South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Roger Lees, mentioned: “Our officers carried out a site visit to the site yesterday, prior to the demolition of the building.

“Officers agreed a programme of works with the landowner’s representative to ensure the safety of the building and the wider site.

“The agreed course of action included the removal of three elements of the first-floor front elevation only. This was only to avoid the weak parts of the structure from falling.

The historic landmark was built in 1765 and is a popular tourist attraction

(Nick Maslen/Alamy/PA Wire)

“At no point did the council agree the demolition of the whole structure nor was this deemed necessary.”

Cllr Lees mentioned: “This council finds the manner in which the situation was managed following the fire completely unacceptable and contrary to instructions provided by our officers.

“As such, we are currently investigating potential breaches of both the Town and Country Planning Act and the Buildings Act.”

The councillor’s assertion mentioned demolition of a constructing needs to be carried out in accordance with Schedule 2 Part 11 Class B of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

Mr Lees added: “The steps required by the legislation were not carried out in this case. We have referred these matters to our legal team with a view to taking enforcement action.

“As soon as we were made aware of the breaches during the demolition, we notified the Health and Safety Executive.

“We are also liaising with many other relevant statutory bodies, including Historic England, the police and fire services, amongst others.

“These bodies will take the lead on investigating the issues surrounding the fire, safety of the unauthorised demolition and securing the ongoing safety of the site.

“Our own investigation is in its early stages and whilst it continues at pace, we as ask for time to consider the facts thoroughly to ensure any future actions are meaningful and proportionate.

“The council is incredibly saddened by the loss of the building which, whilst not listed, was a heritage asset and important landmark to the local area and community.

“Over recent months, the council had been in conversation with the relevant national bodies regarding how best to protect and preserve this important heritage asset.”

There have been a number of reviews that mounds of dust have been blocking entry roads to the pub after the hearth began, one thing Mr Street confirmed in a letter to the police and hearth providers.

Staffordshire Police have mentioned the drive is progressing numerous traces of enquiry alongside South Staffordshire Council and continues to ask anybody with any data related to the inquiry to get in contact as quickly as doable.

More follows on this breaking information story….

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