MP calls for stronger legal protection for pubs
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Dudley North MP Marco Longhi has urged ministers to do more to protect historic pubs following the destruction of the Crooked House in the West Midlands.
The 18th-century pub in Himley was demolished in August shortly after a fire tore through the building. The blaze is being treated as arson (pictured). The inn was known for its sloping walls and floor caused by mining subsidence.
Speaking in parliament last week, Longhi said he wanted every council to have a register of heritage pubs.
Raising the issue in a Westminster Hall debate, Longhi said: "The demise of the Crooked House pub, while tragic in and of itself, has highlighted a much bigger issue nationwide.
“Put simply, 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. Many establishments that once may have been profitable and may not be profitable today.”
Longhi called for councils to be required to keep the register and review it once a year to ensure it is up to date.
The MP also pointed to planning law used in Wales, which allows for heritage pubs to receive temporary protection usually granted to listed buildings once an application for listing is made.
He also said he wanted to see a 12-month restriction placed on the sale of heritage locals if a landlord decided to quit, so a buyer interested in running it as a pub could be found.