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Millionaire Ordered To Knock Down 'Britain's Best Man Cave' Told To Pay £30,000 To Council

Rebecca Shepherd

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Millionaire Ordered To Knock Down 'Britain's Best Man Cave' Told To Pay £30,000 To Council

In 2014, it could be said that most blokes up and down the UK would have done pretty much anything to be in the shoes of Graham Wildin.

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Not only was he the proud owner of a six-bedroom mansion in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, but he had just built a £200,000 'man cave' in his back garden.

Fast-forward to 2018 and I promise that you would have totally changed your mind - he's not only been ordered to knock the illegally built construction down, but now he's also been told to pay £30,000 ($38,400) to the council to cover prosecution costs in court. Ouch.

The 66-year-old spent four years battling with authorities over the private leisure complex, which contains a bowling alley, cinema, casino and a gym - and pictures from Google Earth show it looking like a massive factory.

Aerial photos show the enormous 'man cave' which includes a bowling alley, cinema, casino and a gym. Credit: SWNS
Aerial photos show the enormous 'man cave' which includes a bowling alley, cinema, casino and a gym. Credit: SWNS

But a High Court judge said the granddad-of-five must comply with the council and remove the centre.

He dismissed claims by Mr Wildin, who said he thought he did not need permission when he started construction in the back garden of his home in 2013.

The judge granted Forest of Dean District Council an injunction ordering Mr Wildin to demolish the 10,000sqft sports and leisure building, which was erected without planning permission.

The 10,000sqft leisure centre has been dubbed 'Britain's best man cave'. Credit: SWNS
The 10,000sqft leisure centre has been dubbed 'Britain's best man cave'. Credit: SWNS

He is also facing a £30,000 legal bill after the council was awarded costs - and has been refused permission to appeal by the judge.

The council is preparing a timetable for the cave's demolition, which could take months to complete.

A spokesperson for Forest of Dean District Council said: "We can confirm that Mr Wildin was refused permission to appeal by HHJ Jarman QC.

"This means that if Mr Wildin wishes to appeal, he has to seek permission directly from the Court of Appeal. The Council was awarded just over £30,000 costs; this is subject to confirmation in the final order.

The granddad has been ordered to pay costs of £30,000 to the council. Credit: SWNS
The granddad has been ordered to pay costs of £30,000 to the council. Credit: SWNS

"The final order will also contain stipulations and time frames regarding compliance but there is a possibility that there may be some changes so we cannot provide details until the document has been sealed. As soon as it is sealed, we will be pleased to provide you with a copy of the Order."

The news will come as a relief to other residents who often rowed with Mr Wildin. Neighbour Garry Thomas, 37, even constructed a 12ft-wide wooden fence so he wouldn't have to look at the extension.

Footage filmed by Mr Thomas' partner from April last year shows the moment the millionaire angrily tore the fence down. He even climbed up onto a ledge and threw a black plastic bin.

Handing down judgement last month, Judge Jarman QC said the man cave had a serious impact on neighbours.

Neighbours often argued with Graham Wildin over the size of his 'man cave'. Credit: SWNS
Neighbours often argued with Graham Wildin over the size of his 'man cave'. Credit: SWNS

He said Mr Wildin had not taken any steps to comply with the enforcement notice which gave him until 7 July last year to knock down the building.

The judgement followed a two-day hearing at Cardiff High Court in September, when the council asked the judge to back an enforcement notice issued back in March 2014, instructing Mr Wildin to demolish the works.

He failed to comply with the enforcement requirements even though he was given over two years to do so and shunned attempts to negotiate with him.

Graham Wildin shunned attempts that the council made to negotiate with him over his 'man cave' - probably enjoying his bowling alley too much. Credit: SWNS
Graham Wildin shunned attempts that the council made to negotiate with him over his 'man cave' - probably enjoying his bowling alley too much. Credit: SWNS

Mr Wildin told the court that an injunction would ruin him. He said demolishing the man cave would cost him £720,000 ($920,000). It only cost £200,000 to build so where's he getting that from?!

Although the judge accepted that there would be adverse impacts upon Mr Wildin, he granted the injunction. He said Mr Wildin's circumstance did not outweigh public interest.

Mr Wildin began building the luxury complex in 2013 and finished the following year.

Graham Wildin claims that by building his 'man cave' into the hillside he was taking advantage of a loophole. Credit: SWNS
Graham Wildin claims that by building his 'man cave' into the hillside he was taking advantage of a loophole. Credit: SWNS

He claimed that by digging it 18ft into the hillside, he was taking advantage of a loophole which allowed him to construct the building for use by his family.

Now Mr Wildin will have to bulldoze the centre, which also contains a 25ft three-storey doll's house and soft play for his visiting grandchildren, or face the wrath of the court.

When you illegally build a huge man cave in your back garden, it's sort of a waiting game. He got four years enjoyment from it - we'd say that's pretty good going.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: UK News, Entertainment, Interesting, Fail

Rebecca Shepherd
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