Russell Brand backs down in row with council over security fencing

Russell Brand has backed down in a row with a local council after he put up a security fence outside his pub without planning permission.

The comedian erected a brown fabric-coated structure at the Grade-II listed Crown Inn, located in the quaint village of Pishill, near to his home in Henley-on-Thames.

It appeared a day after he was accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013, following a joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches. Brand has strongly denied the allegations.

A large brown security fence outside The Crown Inn pub owned by Russell Brand’s company, in Pishill, Oxfordshire (REUTERS)
A large brown security fence outside The Crown Inn pub owned by Russell Brand’s company, in Pishill, Oxfordshire (REUTERS)

South Oxfordshire District Council subsequently opened a planning enforcement investigation into the “unauthorised fencing” on Monday. The local authority confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the fencing had been removed.

If you have information in relation to the allegations against Russell Brand which you would like to share with The Independent’s reporting team, please email

A spokesperson for South Oxfordshire District Council said: “Following an investigation from our planning enforcement team, the fencing on-site at The Crown Inn, Pishill, has now been removed.

“As the fencing no longer presents a breach of planning control, we will not be pursuing this matter further.”

Under current rules you need planning permission for a fence that is over 1 metre in height and that is next to a road used by vehicles.

Oxfordshire-based planning consultant Mark Doodes told MailOnline that the structure was unlikely to be permitted by the council due to the historic nature of the Grade-II listed building.

Russell Brand bought the pub in 2021 (PA Wire)
Russell Brand bought the pub in 2021 (PA Wire)

He said: “In this case, the public house is a Grade-II listed building. Consequently, the means of enclosure is unlikely to be permitted under the General Permitted Development Order as it would likely involve development within the curtilage of a listed building.

“As means of enclosure are often relatively limited in scale, and given the complexities of the GPDO, this may have been an easy oversight by Mr. Brand. If the fence has damaged any historic fabric, such as by connecting it to the pub itself unsympathetically, it could be seen as a criminal offence.”

One local woman, who did not want to named, told the Oxford Mail it looked like the pub had been “locked down” when she went past it on Sunday.

“As we drove past this morning, they were putting up a hessian covering. It was like a sack covering across the front,” said the woman. It felt locked down. When we slowed down to look, the man putting it up stopped to look at us.

“I saw three security men in Hi-Vis behind. There were lots of people inside the building as well – about half a dozen.”

The pub has been closed since Brand reportedly purchased it for around £850,000 in December 2021.

Brand’s representatives have been approached for comment.