Speaking in Parliament on Thursday 16 November, the Conservative MP for Dudley North, Marco Longhi, raised the issue and called on the Government to do more to protect heritage pubs from demolition.
Following the fire and subsequent demolition of the Crooked House pub in Staffordshire earlier this year, Mr Loghi said the “tragic demise” of the venue “highlighted a much bigger issue nationwide”, adding “something better needs to be done”.
The Crooked House, which dated back to the 18th century, was burnt to ground in a suspected arson attack on 5 August and bulldozed some 48 hours later.
Cornerstone of communities
Loghi continued: “The framework we have in place to protect our heritage pubs is simply not winning the war against unscrupulous developers or even against our changing socio-economic environment.”
Following the debate in Westminster, CAMRA chief executive Tom Stainer urged the Government to strengthen planning policy and enforcement legislation by making unauthorised pub demolitions illegal and allowing local authorities to compel the complete restoration of unlawfully demolished sites.
Stainer added: “Heritage pubs are the cornerstone of communities, helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
“Generations have enjoyed the classic features of these historic venues, and it is important that future generations can also experience these heritage sites.
“The complete destruction of the iconic Crooked House pub shocked the nation earlier this year and exposed a wider scandal of potentially unlawful pub conversions and demolitions.
“The pub and brewing industries are in turmoil, and without the Government amending the weak enforcement options, we potentially risk seeing more pubs suffering the same scandalous fate as the Crooked House.”