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- 61-year-old Robert Fidler secretly built a castle on his property
A man from Honeycrock Farm in Redhill, Surrey, in the UK has built an entire castle without authorities knowing about it. Unfortunately for him, he has been ordered to demolish it.
It appears that 61-year-old Robert Fidler 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 (€57,500 / $77,200) 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.
According to 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.
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|Comment #1 by: momwithaplan on 20 Feb 2013, 11:14 UTC|| reply to this comment|
As far as I am concerned, he researched the law and found a loophole. Now the authorities are demanding the castle's destruction out of anger at being outsmarted. To destroy the castle is pointless. As much as the English love history, they need to realize that this modern castle already has a history in the making. Let it stand....and Americans will come visit it, benefiting your local economy!
|Comment #1.1 by: chupa cabre on 20 Feb 2013, 18:42 GMT|
he hid the place for four yrs.he cheated.but don't tear it down.at least fine him heavily.
|Comment #2 by: jjswoman on 20 Feb 2013, 11:35 UTC|| reply to this comment|
"Only completed when the bales were removed" is a ludacris statement. Nothing like the government (no matter which country) to twist the law to fit what it wants.
|Comment #2.1 by: the guv on 21 Feb 2013, 15:46 GMT|
no he knew itwas illegal, and we can't have people breaking the laws that they don't agree with,
|Comment #3 by: Queen Victoria on 20 Feb 2013, 11:37 UTC|| reply to this comment|
it's not hurting anyone and it's very nice. We all have the right to live on this planet.
|Comment #4 by: Greenough Construction on 20 Feb 2013, 12:26 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Inspect it, if it does not meet building standards, make him fix it. Fine him for building without a permit, and send him a house warming gift. I have been a remodeling contractor for over 30 years and I have seen some of the worst construction done by home owners and it is allowed to stand. Give the guy a break and let him have his castle
|Comment #4.1 by: kateri on 20 Feb 2013, 17:20 GMT|
|Comment #4.2 by: Responder on 20 Feb 2013, 17:53 GMT|
Wouldn't you love to see the inside?
|Comment #4.3 by: the guv on 21 Feb 2013, 15:49 GMT|
the building doesnt even have footings, its built on a slab, it doesnt have a damp course and the whole building is below minimum standards, its got to go , we can't have every tom * or harry, choosing which law to obey, he knew he was breaking the law, so he has to face the consiquences.
|Comment #5 by: Dar on 20 Feb 2013, 13:31 UTC|| reply to this comment|
To whom it my concern,
I believe this ia a atrocity> The man worked hard built a beautiful home , own's the land. I believe the courts should simple impose a fine for not having the permit.
He didn't kill any one , nor make a bom, nor swindle any one of their lifes savings. He worked hard and built a home. Where is common sense??????
The punishment out ways the act of deception; what type of civilized society would have him tear it down.
I always thought that England had higher standards then the rest of the world.
Disappointed to read this story.
Darlene A. Foucher
|Comment #6 by: Fatgranny on 20 Feb 2013, 13:34 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Sounds like British Courts are saying "I can and I will just because I can!" Leave the man alone!
|Comment #7 by: Mel on 20 Feb 2013, 13:49 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Tearing it down would be a complete waste. That structure is a work of art and a testimony to what people can accomplish. Those who want to tear it down should be ashamed of themselves. Surely , they can come up with a better reprimand.
Why not just fine him for breaking the permit law, and use that money for charity or the homeless. Or make some arrangement with him. In this age of conservation, tearing it down would be a waste of materials as well.
It sounds to me that they are jealous of what he has done. There are other
solutions the planning authority could implement and this is just a nasty
dictatorship type solution. Come on, Court, I bet you have more pressing criminal cases than this one. This castle is beautiful and an asset to your area. You should be proud.
|Comment #7.1 by: commonsensenotsocommon on 20 Feb 2013, 17:06 GMT|
Darn right! Tearing this home down, would be irresponsible, dishonest, and would NOT BE ENVIRONMENTALLY CORRECT, so the governmentj workers should stop getting your knickers in a twist, get your nose out of the citizen's business, and worry about catching rapists & burglars, not hard working citizen's who try to better the lives of their family! Like a bunch of nosy old biddies who's only joy in life is in making other people miserable!
|Comment #8 by: boogeyman1955 on 20 Feb 2013, 13:49 UTC|| reply to this comment|
this man is an innovator...we need more like him
|Comment #9 by: Bren on 20 Feb 2013, 14:01 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think he should not have to tear down the beautiful structure. If the government is that bent out of shape, they should just make him pay a fine for not getting the right paperwork done.
|Comment #10 by: Nottadumbblonde on 20 Feb 2013, 14:07 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Leave the man alone.... he out thought the authorities and should get to keep his home!
|Comment #11 by: Par4par on 20 Feb 2013, 14:20 UTC|| reply to this comment|
It's not like it was a Crack house or a Nuclear refinery! and it was on his property! The planing authority should be ashamed. With all the Old Country homes being gone and the fact that this man showed ingenuity and built this magnificent structure for under $80 K. This is a study of what old school resourcefulness and hard work can produce and should not be punished and should be celebrated.
|Comment #12 by: Sheryl Ann on 20 Feb 2013, 14:42 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think the Man worked hard to build his dream , and they have no right to take it ! He hasn't fixed the building codes . It was made on HIS own property, why would he have to ASK anyone How it should LOOK ??!! It's not an " eye sore " and it might draw attention to the town. Revenues from people coming into town to view it.....??? Jealous or power hungry ? I don't know which is worse, your legislature doesn't seem to see the big picture to me. Talk about a tourist attraction ? People WILL come if you build it !! I wonder where I heard that line ? Sorry if I misquoted.
|Comment #13 by: siewert on 20 Feb 2013, 14:42 UTC|| reply to this comment|
How could they possibly not have seen it sooner? Hay bails? Come on now. This is rediculous. A census taken must have revealed it. In the U.S., people who build right after a census aren't even notice for 10 years till the next census.
|Comment #14 by: woody on 20 Feb 2013, 15:09 UTC|| reply to this comment|
If it is on his property, and is safe to live in. it is his. quit ranting and raving ,because their permission wasent asked for Brits have allways been oversensitave about athority. let him pay his tax's, and be done with it.
|Comment #15 by: Mamamel on 20 Feb 2013, 15:18 UTC|| reply to this comment|
He should have gone through the right channels to build it but I don't think it should be torn down. Maybe they could fine him for not getting the permits and all.
|Comment #16 by: pendragon2 on 20 Feb 2013, 16:42 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Let him keep his castle. What harm is it? The British authorities are over the top nuts!!!
|Comment #17 by: 4thefarmer on 20 Feb 2013, 16:44 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Leave the man alone. It is his property he may do as he wishes. The government needs to worry about other major issues instead of this farmer. He has done nothing WRONG.
|Comment #18 by: USPatriot on 20 Feb 2013, 16:45 UTC|| reply to this comment|
so he's going to study the law enough to find a loop-hole well, WHY NOT JUST GET A BUILDING PERMIT STUPID
|Comment #19 by: Russ on 20 Feb 2013, 16:51 UTC|| reply to this comment|
The builder owns the property and should be able to build what he likes. It's not exactly like he built an eyesore. The government is mad simply because they didn't get to wrap the project in red tape or collect pay-offs for inspection "fees".
|Comment #20 by: Frederick Denson on 20 Feb 2013, 16:52 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I wish, If by the time I reach 61, I could build something that amazing and I'm sure he had help with plumbing and electricity, so people new of it. it's not and eyesore. let him keep it. Frederick Denson
|Comment #21 by: JK on 20 Feb 2013, 16:53 UTC|| reply to this comment|
And a country such as the UK where Castles are common and thought to be appreciated, Why would one more be considered to be so offensive that it would be distroyed? Never mind, I just remembered.... London Bridge that was built in 1831 in London was sold, torn down and is now located in Arizona! I hope the owner gets someone with the ability to stop this action and allow him and his family to live in the home they built.
|Comment #22 by: Shirley on 20 Feb 2013, 16:55 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Instead of tearing it down, the authorities should consider it a tourist attraction which would bring revenue to their area! And a man's home IS his castle.
|Comment #23 by: Don't be a Crybaby. on 20 Feb 2013, 16:59 UTC|| reply to this comment|
That's total crap. Inspect it. Fine him. And leave him be. There are bigger problems in this day and age than industrius individuals providing work to the local community by building his own home...even if it makes the authorities look stupid.
|Comment #24 by: commonsensenotsocommon on 20 Feb 2013, 17:01 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Those morons should leave this poor man & his family alone! Do you think the queen's ancestors had building permits to build their castles? Most permit requirements are just an excuse for one person to tell another person what to do! Yes, some people are morons, and will build things foolishly, & unsafely on occasion, but look at all of the buildings, bridges & parking garages that suddenly collapse, that were built with permits. Doesn't that tell you something? Keep the government's stinking nose out of the citizen's business!
|Comment #25 by: sue on 20 Feb 2013, 17:01 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Government needs to keep its nose out of our business!
|Comment #26 by: Sandy on 20 Feb 2013, 17:03 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think he should be allowed to keep his castle Maybe he could pay a fine but be allowed to keep it.
|Comment #27 by: pmp on 20 Feb 2013, 17:04 UTC|| reply to this comment|
If it's his land, he should be able to build what he wants on it UNLESS it is an attractive nuisance, thus dangerous to some, or if it is not kept up appropriately.
|Comment #28 by: QUEENBEE on 20 Feb 2013, 17:04 UTC|| reply to this comment|
HE WORKED VERY HARD BUILDING THIS HOME, LET HIM KEEP IT. HE SHOULD AT LEAST PAY THE BUILDING COMMISSION THERE FEES.
|Comment #29 by: terry on 20 Feb 2013, 17:05 UTC|| reply to this comment|
That's ridiculous. We have too many "permits" as it is. The letter of the law says if it was built and no one objects, you can keep it. This shouldn't waste the courts' time. As a farmer, I can't believe people lived next to a "pile of straw" and didn't notice IT.
|Comment #31 by: new england on 20 Feb 2013, 17:08 UTC|| reply to this comment|
If it is up to code let him keep the house and start paying taxes.....
|Comment #32 by: Duffy on 20 Feb 2013, 17:18 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Typical government, thinks it should have the right to tell people what to do. Houses are built all the time with codes involved and believe it or not, live wires are left dangling in attics and walls, things get passed that are unsafe. Not all codes people are builders, they go by a book then they enforce just because they can and act like they are policeman not necessarily assisting to make sure something is safe.
|Comment #33 by: sanzum on 20 Feb 2013, 17:19 UTC|| reply to this comment|
It's a little much to make him demolish it. FINE him heavy but don't distroy his home. Come on!!
|Comment #34 by: Doubting Tom on 20 Feb 2013, 17:26 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Absolutely ridiculous for a number of reasons, the best one being that it imposes an economic hardship on the owner for no obvious reason other than the fact that he 'got away' with thumbing his nose at authority. The building should be inspected to see that it meets code requirements and any violations should be corrected. Otherwise leave the man alone.
|Comment #35 by: Stormyrooster on 20 Feb 2013, 17:28 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Nice place. It's too bad that its builder/owner purposely deceived the local authorities. The same situation happened in my city in the State of Wisconsin, USA. This situation involved a 'garage' that turned into a three-storied, elevator equipped, hot-tub, etc. Clearly, it was never built to be a 'garage.' Garage buildings also do not have 4-bedrooms. It was a million dollar tear-down conclusion. Sadly, for this castle builder, he will have to tear it down, apply for permits, and begin the reconstruction. The authorities are only doing their jobs, and are within their right. The builder seems like a inspired, creative man. It is really too bad.
|Comment #36 by: wrinkles on 20 Feb 2013, 17:46 UTC|| reply to this comment|
leave the man alone! he didn't cause any harm to anyone.
|Comment #37 by: MimiAH on 20 Feb 2013, 17:48 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Just showing AGAIN how stupid the government is!! I agree with one of the responders...fine him and leave it alone. Its a Beautiful piece of work!!
Why not make a "positive" out of it than demolish it...?? I don't think "they get it"!!!
|Comment #38 by: Responder on 20 Feb 2013, 17:50 UTC|| reply to this comment|
So why not have the government purchase it and put it to good use? or even let him rent it? Whatever is done, be practicle; don't abuse but reuse in this time of conservation. We all need some independance and ingenuity. But, I also think this man may have only been able to build at this price because he outskirted some basic rules that the rest have to abide by and maybe those need to be looked into. Our society has become too complicated to get things done anymore. Kudos to him for that.
|Comment #39 by: commonsense on 20 Feb 2013, 17:52 UTC|| reply to this comment|
and you wonder why people are going crazy and shooting people...
|Comment #40 by: minnie on 20 Feb 2013, 17:55 UTC|| reply to this comment|
This "SYSTEMS" that has ruined alot of Lives..SYSTEMS run By HUMANS
|Comment #41 by: southernboy on 20 Feb 2013, 17:58 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think Politicians are Politicians, US or British they're all the same. But nothing a Nice Pc of Rope can't fix! This is why GB did away with Firearms, also why it will not Fly in the US. That Man is not Politically connected, if so this story wouldn't be. I hope all his Neighbors, ALL of them will rally to his Side and Not let them tear down this Beautiful Home, Don't Let it Happen! Stand up for what's right, if not it will happen to you sometime. Any time we put Public Servants in office, we Can Take them out too. My Prayers are with the Family & Robert, Good Luck with your Problem...the Government!
|Comment #42 by: minnie on 20 Feb 2013, 17:58 UTC|| reply to this comment|
My GOD , what a bad judgement. Is some one envious of him?
|Comment #43 by: Dean on 20 Feb 2013, 18:11 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I suppose they call that punishment. I think a stiff fine would be appropriate. It seems like such a waste of material. It shows it is best to act as the law indicates.
|Comment #44 by: AutumSoul on 20 Feb 2013, 18:24 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Simply awful decision to destroy.... A Masterpeice of a home which Mr. Robert Fidler has created. It is most obvious it was built with Love, and Great Skill of Talent. Why not let Mr Filder teach and extend his expertise knowledge.... to todays troubled youth. Making a difference !
|Comment #45 by: mfm on 20 Feb 2013, 18:28 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Sounds like a bunch of European B.S. to have a man tear it down because he didn't seek a permit.
|Comment #46 by: rkleitner on 20 Feb 2013, 18:30 UTC|| reply to this comment|
what the Hell? do the authorities think he is going to start his own kingdom and take over the world? let the poor guy keep his life's work!
|Comment #47 by: deb on 20 Feb 2013, 18:40 UTC|| reply to this comment|
YOU SHOULD LEAVE HIM AND THIS PROPERTY ALONE GOOD FOR HIM HE BUILT A CASTLE WISH HE COULD BUILD ME ONE. BACK IN THE OLD DAYS YOU DIDN'T NEED PERMISSION TO BUILD YOUR HOME. GOVERNMENT IS WANTING MONEY FROM THIS GUY...
|Comment #48 by: chupa cabre on 20 Feb 2013, 18:41 UTC|| reply to this comment|
he knew he needed the permit.he cheated openly.you lose sir.but don't tear it down,inspect it and use it for something good.maybe homeless shelter.
|Comment #49 by: old sarge on 20 Feb 2013, 18:41 UTC|| reply to this comment|
we keep on going the way of england and this can happing to us in the good old USA
|Comment #50 by: ed on 20 Feb 2013, 18:43 UTC|| reply to this comment|
he should be allowed to keep it since it is fiished and in great shape. it would be a crime to demolish it. there are many homes and castles in terrible shape that are still standing. he should allow for a tour now and than with proceeds going to the town as amends.
|Comment #51 by: kilmanagh on 20 Feb 2013, 18:44 UTC|| reply to this comment|
The Planning Authority has too much power, as I've heard of terrible decisions about them and they can be very petty.
|Comment #52 by: boo on 20 Feb 2013, 18:50 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Its beautiful, don't force him to knock it down.
|Comment #53 by: Deep thoughts on 20 Feb 2013, 19:03 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I believe that this man should be able to keep his house/ castle. because he paid to build it himself, so why should the court deem what is right or wrong when it was build on this mans own land. FOr the most part he should pay taxes or something but not to demonish his beautiful home/castle.
|Comment #54 by: Ginger on 20 Feb 2013, 19:28 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Let the man keep his castle. Who is it harming? Government just missed out on all the fees they could have collected for permits for every * thing.
|Comment #55 by: Jason on 20 Feb 2013, 19:46 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think he deserves to be fined, but he did find a loophole so he should keep the castle. It looks beautiful & will attract tourists. As long as it can safely stand, it should stay but he should pay all of the normal fees he skipped out on.
|Comment #56 by: gwalhaved on 20 Feb 2013, 19:48 UTC|| reply to this comment|
So no one objected to a house made out of straw bales, but they think the castle has to go? Sounds ludicrous! Just let the man pay some reasonable fee in line with what someone would have to pay to get a permit and maybe a reasonable fine for not paying the permit fee before building and let him keep his home. Seems like everyone loses if you demolish the castle.
|Comment #58 by: Lestertee on 21 Feb 2013, 18:06 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Change the owner name to Bill Gate and suddenly your attitute to this illegal castle isn't so sympatatic. You missed the point which the council is making, that people cannot buy cheap greenbelt land and develope it illegally and secretly, expecting the law to accept it due to a self perceived loophole. This is not a simple farmer house, it is a bloody castle with a lake and garden that shout fick you. And i recall the smut the owner gave to a tv interview when he first revealed his castle.
|Comment #59 by: lloydsboy on 15 Mar 2013, 13:15 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Where on Earth does "The Guv" get his information. There are millions of buildings worldwide that are built on a slab. This is a perfectly acceptable method of construction particularly where ground is unstable. I do not believe that anyone would build without incorporating a damp course and from what i,ve seen the whole building looks to have been constructed to a reasonably high standard. Fine him but let it stay !
|Comment #60 by: Me on 13 May 2013, 17:25 UTC|| reply to this comment|
If it meets code requirements. Leave the family alone. Unless he lives in a communist country, never mind.
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