It’s going to be expensive: Developers have demolished a listed pub in England – without permission. It is now said to have cost her more than a million pounds.
A group of property developers have been ordered to rebuild a Grade II listed pub they had demolished without permission. The Guardian first reported on the historic Punch Bowl Inn in Hurst Green, Lancashire. A judge decided that it should now be rebuilt stone by stone within a year. Five people were convicted at a Burnley Magistrates’ Court trial last year. In June 2021, they arranged for the illegal demolition of the circa-1700 pub, known to be associated with famous stockbrokers Dick Turpin and Ned King. King was executed in 1741, and his ghost is said to haunt the pub.
According to The Guardian, rescue services were called several times in the years leading up to the demolition because people had set the building on fire. In building the tavern, contractors are said to be working with experts to study what can be reused from the wreckage of the historic building. According to The Guardian, they will have to purchase the missing items and get them approved by the city council.
£1.5 million for reconstruction
The cost of rebuilding by the developers is estimated to be around £1.5 million. According to the Guardian, offenders will also have to pay a total of £70,000 in fines and court costs, as well as rebuilding. “Since the defendants must rebuild the building, we would expect them to incur a financial burden as a result,” city council representative Killian Garvey said at the hearing. The city council said the listed building, which was demolished and rebuilt, would not have the same character as before, according to The Guardian.
The newspaper stated that the court knew that there was no reason to demolish the building. The contractor was forewarned that the demolition was illegal. The defense said the building had been in poor condition since 2012 and could have collapsed into the street. According to the Guardian, the contractors have spoken to city officials and experts about what needs to be done. But “no one helped.” County Judge Alex Boyd said the ruling will serve as a deterrent to others considering illegal demolitions.