And finally… Court orders farmer to tear down mock-Tudor castle built in secret

A farmer has been ordered to demolish the mock-Tudor castle he constructed and hid behind hay bales for four years.

61-year-old Robert Fidler from Honeycrock Farm in Redhill, Surrey, never got a permit from the local planning authority before constructing his castle.

Instead, he figured he could take advantage of legislation stating that, if nobody objects to the building in four years’ time, he gets to keep it.

The beautiful Tudor-style building featured above is equipped with a cannon and battlements, and has cost £50,000 to build. It was covered in straw bales for four years, during which time it was inhabited by Fidler’s family.

Authorities have decided that the house was only completed when the straw bales were removed, and he has to tear it down. The owner’s High Court appeal to the initial 2007 demolition decision has been thrown out.

“It would be like Rembrandt being asked to rip up his masterpiece of an oil painting or something for me to demolish it,” Robert Fidler told the Daily Mail.

Fidler now plans to take his case to the Court of Appeals and even the European Court of Human Rights, if it should come to that.

A Reigate and Banstead Borough Council spokesperson said they had a “duty” to uphold planning regulations designed to protect the Green Belt.

“The Secretary of State’s decision demonstrates that people who ignore planning rules for the good of everyone are likely to find themselves in this unfortunate position,” they told the Daily Mail.

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