Sneakily Hidden Tudor Castle To Be Demolished
After A Long Legal Battle The Hidden Castle Built On Greenbelt Will Be Demolished
After years of legal battles, a farmer in Suffolk has begun to demolish his illegal mock Tudor castle, in order to avoid being sent to prison.
In The Beginning
Hidden behind a stack of hay bales, when Robert Fidler began building the four bedroom property in 2000, it is reported that he hoped that nobody would notice what he was building, and believed that after four years it could not be contested, and would not have to be demolished due to a legal loophole. By 2006, the Fidlers relaxed and took down the hay bales, revealing the structure to their neighbours, who had previously not known about the hidden castle and were therefore unable to protest it within the four year period.
Trouble In Paradise
In 2007 the mansion, worth £1 million, was ordered to be demolished by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council as it had been built on greenbelt land without permission, but in 2011 temporary planning permission had been granted to Fidler for a maximum of three years, by the Planning Inspectorate. However the decision was reversed by former local government secretary Eric Pickles. Filder fought back claiming he would be breaking European law by bulldozing his home due to bats and newts that may be nesting on his property, and also said that the mock castle was no longer owned by him but had been sold to an Indian businessmen. However the demolition process has now started, with the final deadline set at June 6th.
Morale Of The Story
This story goes to show that if you are planning a significant, non-standard home build, or are making major renovations to your existing property, it is always worth checking with the appropriate authorities to ensure that your plans are legal, and you won’t end up having to take them down in the future. It is also worth making sure that you have the right home insurance in place to cover your non-standard home, both while the work is taking place and once it’s been completed and you’ve moved in.
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