Ok, this story may not be as far-fetched as some would have you believe (like me), but it is a good snap-shot of what can happen when governing authority runs amuck. From the look of the home/castle I’m certain that the home was made of good materials and the home was built in a safe manner. So why make the poor guy tear down his castle? I think I know the answer… cause the governing body wants to push the little guy around, and to make him an example in case anyone else has a wild idea to bring the Out-House into the home with decent plumbing and all that good stuff. If the guys home is safe, just fine him and be done with it, don’t make him tear down a perfectly fine home. It’s hard to determine by the way the article was written, but he may just have to replace the entire roof, not the entire house.
I can easily see this happening here in the USA. Everyone around here thought it was funny when a few years ago the subject on the local talk radio station had to do with the state of North Carolina putting Meters on all privately owned wells. They (the state) wanted to charge people a fee (TAX) for the privilege to drink water from their very own well. The word got out real fast on this one and “We the people” put the brakes on that idea hard. Enjoy the story…
UK man may have to demolish secret castle
LONDON – A man’s home is his castle — but not if British authorities say it has to be destroyed.
That’s the situation faced by Robert Fidler, a farmer who lost a High Court bid Wednesday to protect the once-secret castle he built 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of London and kept hidden from planning authorities.
The adverse decision means Fidler’s roof must come down. He has one year to comply unless an appeal is successful.
To keep prying eyes from noticing his unauthorized abode, Fidler placed bales of hay and tarpaulin around his dream home in Salfords, Surrey, authorities said. The court ruled he could not benefit from his deception.
Mike Miller, a chief planner with the Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, said the council was delighted with the decision, which it viewed as a vindication of the decision to challenge Fidler in court.
“This was a blatant attempt at deception to circumvent the planning process,” he said, adding that Fidler now has one year to destroy the castle, remove the ruins and return the property to its original state.
The unusual castle, complete with cannon, ramparts and stained glass, was completed in 2002 and Fidler lived there with family for more than four years before the authorities started legal action against him.
Fidler, who has had disagreements with planning authorities before, anticipated that his request for permission to build the castle would be denied, so he tried to take advantage of a rule that allows a structure to be legalized if it has been lived in for four years.
Fidler’s lawyer, Pritpal Singh Swarn, said the decision will go to the Court of Appeal because it raised important planning issues. A further appeal to European courts is possible if British courts again reject Fidler’s bid to legitimize his castle.
He said Fidler was extremely disappointed with the ruling and no local residents had complained about the castle.
“It has been pursued at the expense of the taxpayer which we find deeply regrettable — but Mr. Fidler will continue to fight for the right to live in his home,” the lawyer said.
Authorities said he incorporated two grain silos into the design, covering them with material to give them a castellated appearance.
“Mr. Fidler made it quite clear that the construction of his house was undertaken in a clandestine fashion,” the court ruled.