The Crooked House

Update 18 April 2024

The council has been notified by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) that a new Inspector has been appointed to decide the appeal.  

We are advised that the inquiry is now scheduled to open at 10.00am on Tuesday 6 August 2024.  A venue for the hearing has not yet been decided.

The case reference is APP/C3430/C/24/3341483

PINS has accepted the appeal(s) should proceed on ground(s) (a), (b), (c), (f) and (g) as set out at Section 174(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Please note that the appeal will be run by PINS and not South Staffordshire Council and the details can be found here: Case Search (planninginspectorate.gov.uk)

The council considers that in these circumstances the interested parties are South Staffordshire Council and the appellants, ATE Farms.  However, we know there is significant public interest in the hearing, so we will keep our website regularly updated with progress.

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Appeal Lodged

The council served an enforcement notice for the unlawful demolition of the Crooked House on the owners on 27 February 2024.  The owners had 30 days in which to appeal the notice and we have been advised that an appeal has now been lodged.

We are now awaiting a date for the appeal and the appointment of a Planning Inspector.

There is no further information available at this time and we will issue an update when we have more information.

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The council served an Enforcement Notice on the 27 February on the owners of the Crooked House.

The enforcement notice is for the unlawful demolition of the building which is a breach of planning control under paragraph B.1(c) of Part 11 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015.

The council has engaged with the owners since the demolition but has reached a point where formal action is considered necessary.

In summary

  • The enforcement notice is for the unlawful demolition of the building, which is a breach of planning control under paragraph B.1(c) of Part 11 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015.  
  • It requires the building to be built back to what it was prior to the fire.
  • The notice specifies the materials etc which must be used to rebuild the building. 
  • The notice is served on the 27 February 2024.  
  • The time for compliance is 3 years from 27 February 2024.  
  • The notice can be appealed within 30 days.  If the notice is appealed an Independent Planning Inspector will hear the case and the council will have to defend the serving of the notice.
  • If the notice is not appealed and not complied with within the time limit it will be considered that an offence has been committed and the council can prosecute for failure to comply with the notice. 

There is no further information available at this time.

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The council understands and empathises with the concern and interest following the demolition of the Crooked House, Himley in 2023.

We are continuing to work with the police and other partners, including Health and Safety Executive (HSE), building control and Historic England, and our focus is on our own investigation regarding the planning and building control breaches with the aim of reaching a positive outcome.

This remains our priority, and it is very important that whilst the council is still investigating the incident and considering our legal options and next steps, we do not comment on any element of the ongoing investigation, so that we do not potentially prejudice our enforcement action. 

We continue to urge everyone to stay off the site, not to breach the fencing, nor remove any materials as it may hamper ongoing investigations being carried out by multiple agencies. 

The land is in private ownership, so making it secure is the responsibility of the site owners. 

There are public rights of way running through the site, and Staffordshire County Council has extended the emergency closure notice on them for 6 months from September 23, 2023 for health and safety purposes.

We have put a blanket Tree Preservation Order on trees adjoining the site to ensure their protection. 

The Crooked House was not a listed building, but was a non-designated heritage asset, registered on the Historic Environment Record as a building of local importance.

We are liaising with multiple agencies, and with local MPs and the Mayor of the West Midlands.

As stated at the beginning of the investigation, this will be a long process and the council needs time to investigate properly and take appropriate action.  We will provide updates to this page when we are able to release information, however if you do need to contact the council please direct enquiries to planningservicesfeedback@sstaffs.gov.uk  Please be aware that it may not be possible to provide an immediate response dependent on the volume of enquiries we receive.

Council statements:

Crooked House April 04

Crooked House March 27

Crooked House February 27

Crooked House September 1

Crooked House August 22

Crooked House August 16

Crooked House August 14

Crooked House August 11

Crooked House August 8

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