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Farewell to the wonkiest pub

24 Aug 2023

Locals and visitors recently said farewell to a beloved establishment in the Black Country known as the “Wonkiest Pub in England”.  This pub had over time developed a distinctive tilt and so had been subject to a request for listed status protection, with arguments that its quirk of architecture was a vital part of the village’s character.

The site was sold by Marston’s to developers intending to change its use and after just one month, the building was gutted by a fire.  The charming building faced a rather controversial fate – demolition.

What are the categories of listed buildings?

In the heart of every village, town and city there can lie a treasure trove of buildings with special architectural or historic interest and the preservation of these gems isn’t always straightforward.

Listed buildings are recorded on the National Heritage List and come in three categories of “Significance”:-

  • Grade I for buildings of the highest significance
  • Grade II*
  • Grade II (Grade II buildings make up 92% of all listed buildings)

A listing covers a whole building (including the interior) unless parts are specifically excluded in the list description.  If unsure, it is best to check with the local planning authority what is covered by the listing.

Check before you embark on any work of a listed building

Listed buildings have additional protections to conserve their architectural or historic interest.  This can include for example, requiring consent to carry out simple works such as making repairs if these are not exactly like for like.  The owner / occupier of a building should always check whether planning permission is required before carrying out any building works, as the requirements for planning permission are different when the building is listed.

It is a criminal offence to undertake works that require listed building consent without the necessary consents.  Failure to consider these requirements could mean that you end up on the wonky end of the law!

Claire Durkin

Managing Associate
Commercial real estate

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