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Crooked House owners' links to fire on landfill site they owned before taking over historic pub
16 August 2023, 09:55 | Updated: 16 August 2023, 10:11
The owners of the Crooked House pub, which was gutted in a blaze and demolished soon after, experienced a fire at a landfill site they owned almost five years ago.
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The cause of the fire at Finmere landfill in August 2018 was never established.
The land is owned by AT Contracting and Plant Hire, according to Land Registry documents, which Adam Taylor is a director of. His wife Carly runs ATE Farms Ltd, which bought the Crooked House in July.
But the pub - known as Britain's "wonkiest" because of its distinct appearance caused by subsidence - was gutted by a fire. Police are treating it as arson.
The couple has not been identified as suspects. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing.
The 18th century building was demolished by a digger just days after without approval from the council to the rage of locals near Dudley, Staffordshire, who feel part of their their heritage has been destroyed.
The Taylors previously experienced a fire at the Finmere landfill site in Buckinghamshire in August 2018.
About 400 tonnes of waste caught ablaze. The cause was never established.
The Taylors have not spoken out publicly or responded to press requests to talk.
Police continue to investigate the pub blaze, which broke out on August 5.
South Staffordshire Council is looking into the demolition.
There have been calls for it to be rebuilt brick by brick and there is renewed optimism after Historic England expressed its willingness to work with the local council on restoration options.
Historic England said it was keen to "consider all possible avenues" with the local council to see the pub reconstructed.
"We offered our support to South Staffordshire Council last week and have been in regular contact with the council since to provide specialist advice as needed," said a spokesman.
"We are also happy to engage with the local community."
The spokesman added: "This is a complex case and we are still processing the applications we received just before and after the fire occurred last week."
More than 13,000 people have signed a petition calling for its rebuilding.
Meanwhile, the rubble has been fenced off because of fears about the instability of the ground. Locals had gathered to mourn the loss of the pub.