UK farmer to lose secret castle

castleA Surrey farmer who secretly built a castle-style home behind 40ft straw bales has lost his battle to save it from demolition.(Pictured: castle )

Robert Fidler constructed the mock-Tudor property without planning permission and put up the bales and a tarpaulin to hide it.

He hoped to take advantage of a law stating that if there are no objections to a building within four years, the owner can keep it.

The 61-year-old completed the house, which cost 50,000 and features cannon and battlements, in June 2002 and he and his family moved in.

Mr Fidler, his wife Linda, 40, and their nine-year-old son Harry lived there for four years before removing the bales, thinking they were immune from prosecution.

But in 2007 Reigate and Banstead Borough Council ordered him to demolish the house at Honeycrock Farm in Redhill, Surrey.

Planning officials refused Mr Fidler’s appeal a year later, saying the building works only finished when the straw bales were removed – so the four-year rule did not apply.

Mr Fidler took his case to the High Court to appeal, but a judge upheld the order to have the house torn down.

But Mr Fidler says he will appeal again and will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

“This house will never be knocked down. This is a beautiful house that has been lovingly created. I will do whatever it takes to keep it,” he said.

Post published in: Africa News

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