The owners of ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ allegedly gutted another pub nearby, according to new claims.
Last week, The Crooked House in Himley, Staffordshire, burnt down after a fire broke out over the weekend.
The fire occurred just a few days after the famous inn was sold to a private company.
Following the fire, questions are now being asked about how it started and the history of its new owners, ATE Farms Ltd.
According to claims, the owners had gutted another pub in the nearby Warwickshire village of Willey.
Known as the Sarah Mansfield Inn, it was allegedly stripped out soon after it was purchased.
ATE Farms, a letting and real estate firm, is controlled by Carly Taylor, 34.
ATE Farms is registered to the same address as Himley Environmental. Mrs Taylor’s husband, Adam, 44, is a plant hire boss, shareholder, and former director of the company.
Mr Taylor allegedly bought the Sarah Mansfield Inn in 2020 before removing the interior. Council planners reportedly had to issue a “stop notice” to prevent further work.
Mr Taylor then submitted a planning application to reinstall the pub in the ground floor, install six letting rooms above, and build two houses in the carpark.
While Mr Taylor had a grand vision for the pub, Rugby Borough Council approved a request by local residents to protect the Sarah Mansfield because it was “an asset of community value”.
Speaking anonymously to the MailOnline, one local resident said Mr Taylor was a ruthless businessman who “upset” local people.
They said: “He sought planning permission to create rental rooms and claimed he would keep part of the premises as a pub but we don’t think that was ever his intention.”
They added: “He wanted to cash in with rentals and build two new houses in the car park.
“All the villagers objected, there are only around 20 of us, but the pub was the heart of our village, it was thriving and attracted outside visitors too, and he ripped that out.”
The fire at the Crooked House pub has brought back horrible memories for fans of the Sarah Mansfield Inn.
Following the fire, the pub was allegedly demolished without permission from the council.
Another resident reportedly said that when they heard the Crooked House had been bulldozed it was “a weird feeling of deja vu”.
They claimed: “He comes into communities and wrecks them, with no regard to local people, and for his own profit and gain. It is outrageous that one man and his wife can yield so much power.
“What he is doing to local communities, ripping down well-known pubs for development and his greed, is outrageous and the authorities should put a stop to it.”
Police have confirmed the fire at the Crooked House is now being treated as arson. Their enquiries continue.