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Dad Who Built 'Cheeky' £1 Million Castle Forced To Demolish It

Jake Massey

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Dad Who Built 'Cheeky' £1 Million Castle Forced To Demolish It

A dad who built a 'cheeky' £1 million castle was forced to demolish it.

Robert Fidler, a farmer from Surrey, decided to build the mock-Tudor mansion after his request for planning permission was ignored.

Remarkably, he hid the huge construction for four years, between 2001 and 2005, obscuring his palace with hay bales, tarpaulin and stacks of tyres.

But in 2015 he lost a legal battle and was ordered to destroy his secret kingdom.

He was forced to demolish the castle. Credit: SWNS
He was forced to demolish the castle. Credit: SWNS

Looking back, the 73-year-old admitted he was 'cheeky' to build the castle without permission, but he'd hoped it would be protected by a legal loophole, which stated that if a building without planning permission stood for four years it would be allowed to remain.

"Obviously I was a bit cheeky, I built it behind a stack of straw so they would not find it for the four years," he told The Sun.

"But the law made no provision for it being concealed."

He added: "They [the council] thought they could destroy us but they haven't.

"I had applied for planning permission in 1998 and in 2005 when they asked me to demolish the building, they still hadn't answered my planning application, seven years later.

"Their own legislation says they are supposed to reply to me within eight weeks and they did not do it within eight years."

He hoped it would be protected by a legal loophole. Credit: SWNS
He hoped it would be protected by a legal loophole. Credit: SWNS

Robert spent two years building the castle, using more than 300 trees, and it featured four bedrooms, as well as its own battlements and cannons.

He tried to appeal the council's order, taking his case all the way to the High Court, but he was ordered to demolish the house despite finding bats roosting in the loft.

He was also handed a three-month suspended sentence and told he'd be put behind bars if the castle wasn't demolished by June 2015.

"I'm not a criminal, all I did was build a house for my family to live in on my own farm," he said.

"When you think the council is desperately looking for places to build houses and spending all this money to demolish mine, it's quite shocking isn't it?"

He's now moved on and continues to run the farm. Credit: SWNS
He's now moved on and continues to run the farm. Credit: SWNS

But while he lost his castle, he gained international fame, and said he was flown out to Germany to share his story on a talk show, as well as being interviewed on a US radio station and on Russian TV.

Nowadays, Robert has six children and 15 grandchildren, and he continues to run his cattle farm.

"We have moved on and we are happy," he said.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: UK News, Weird, Home

Jake Massey
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