THE OWNERS of the Crooked House have been told today that they must rebuild the historic pub.

They have three years to put "the building back to what it was prior to the fire" in what will be a mammoth task. 

South Staffordshire Council served the owners with an enforcement notice today (Tuesday February 27) after working hard behind the scenes with partner organisations.

It said in a statement: "The council has engaged with the owners since the demolition but has reached a point where formal action is considered necessary."

Halesowen News: The remains of the site before the bricks were clearedThe remains of the site before the bricks were cleared (Image: Pic Matthew Cooper/PA)

It goes on to say: "The enforcement notice is for the unlawful demolition of the building, which is a breach of planning control.

"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."

Leader of the Council, Councillor Roger Lees BEM said: "A huge amount of time and resources have been put into investigating the unauthorised demolition of the Crooked House.

"We have had great support from the local community, our MPs and the Mayor of the West Midlands, and from the campaign group whose aim is to see the Crooked House back to its former glory which is the key objective of the Enforcement Notice.

"We have not taken this action lightly, but we believe that it is right to bring the owners, who demolished the building without consent, to account and we are committed to do what we can to get the Crooked House rebuilt."

The loss of the beloved wonky pub sparked outrage from fans of the famous boozer, which gained its iconic appearance due to subsidence as a result of 19th century mining in the area.

Since it was bulldozed last August after a fire, which is being treated as arson, locals and fans of the Crooked House, which dated back to the 18th century, have been campaigning to see it rebuilt ‘brick by brick’.

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.

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.