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69-year-old Graham Wildin built the huge extension outside the back of his house eight years ago, and it’s definitely an impressive construction.
The problem got as far as the Court of Appeal last year, where Wildin’s bid to get a suspended prison sentence for failure to remove the structure was quashed.
They also said that by March 10 2022, he had to demolish it or face jail.
Obviously, that deadline has now passed and it doesn’t seem as if anything has been done about it.
Built in 2014, the structure was controversial with the neighbours, for sure.
A High Court judge settled the protracted legal battle with an injunction in 2018 when Wildin was given until April 2020 to get rid of the 10,000 square feet building.
Initially, he was told to get rid of the sports centre, but then he was found to be in contempt of court after he didn’t follow those instructions.
The judge hit Wildin with a six-week sentence suspended for 12 months and told him it absolutely had to be gone by the next deadline.
In judgement, Lady Justice Laing said that the council couldn’t prove whether Wildin could afford to tear the building down as he’s never disclosed his assets fully.
Wildin – she said – was ‘entirely the author of his own misfortune’ and said that there was a ‘reasonable basis’ to believe he was a ‘very wealthy man’.
Forest of Dean Council was also awarded substantial costs as part of the hearing.
A spokesperson for the council said that they couldn’t comment, adding: "Unfortunately due to the ongoing legal investigation, Forest of Dean District Council is unable to comment at this stage."
However, at an earlier stage, Councillor Tim Gwilliam said that Wildin could have avoided the whole process.
He said: "If Mr Wildin had followed the guidance of experts and complied with the sentencing originally handed down, this further court date would not have been necessary.
“As a council it is important to ensure that development proposals improve the environments in which they live, whilst safeguarding the community.
"Every year, hundreds of people ask the council for planning advice and follow it. This has not been the case in Mr Wildin’s instance."
“The Forest of Dean District Council would like to again thank the people of the Forest for their patience during this lengthy process as we work to secure demolition of the building.”
Wildin claims that he’d have to lay off 40 staff if he had to tear down the complex and says it would financially ruin him.
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