Daily Express

Demolished...the farmer hid behind

- By Cyril Dixon

A MOCK Tudor mansion that was built without planning permission and then hidden behind hay bales has been demolished.

Robert Fidler had infuriated officials by hiding the £1million property in a bid to evade planning regulation­s.

But the 67-year-old has finally put his house in order after a legal battle lasting 10 years.

The ornate turrets, ramparts and replica cannon have gone to leave a skeleton made of metal beams and corrugated iron.

Mr Fidler claimed Reigate and Banstead borough councillor­s were “completely ridiculous” by ordering the destructio­n of his dream home in the Surrey countrysid­e. The father-of-six said: “Tearing down the house is completely pointless, it’s completely ridiculous and totally wrong.

“There’s supposed to be a housing shortage but all they intend on doing is spending thousands of pounds getting one house demolished. They’ve gone to such


lengths to get me to prison.

“It feels like going into a boxing ring on fair terms but then the bloke you’re fighting pulls out the gun and shoots you.”

Mr Fidler began building Honeycrock Castle at his Honeycrock Farm home on green belt land at Salfords, 14 years ago. He did not apply for permission but believed that if it stood for more than four years without objection, the house would be allowed to remain.

To avoid complaints from neighbours he kept the building hidden behind stacked bales of hay and a tarpaulin.

But the council ordered him to pull it down and, despite a lengthy and bitter dispute, the High Court upheld their decision last year.

He was ordered to destroy the property completely by June 6 or face a prison sentence.

Mr Fidler said: “It’s like asking

 ??  ?? Ornate Honeycrock Castle cost £1million to build but was hidden behind hay bales to conceal its grandeur
Ornate Honeycrock Castle cost £1million to build but was hidden behind hay bales to conceal its grandeur
 ??  ?? Sgt Burns... died in raid
Sgt Burns... died in raid

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