The well-known saga of the Tudor Castle which was built without planning permission in the Green Belt in Surrey has now ended after it was confirmed by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council that the building has been demolished.
Demolition began in March 2016 by the farmer Robert Fidler to avoid a three-month jail. He illegally started work in 2000 without planning permission, secretly hiding the construction between hay bales. When the castle was revealed in 2006 he claimed that it was immune from enforcement action due to the four-year rule which allows a building to become lawful if it has been complete for four years.
The Council issued an Enforcement Notice that required the knocking down of the building. A subsequent appeal was however, dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate. Mr Fidler then also lost his case at the High Court and Court of Appeal. Further outstanding Enforcement Notices and demolition orders were also not complied with.
It was then decided by the judge at the High Court that Mr Fidler would need to comply with the Order by 6 June 2016 or he would face a three-month jail term. Subsequently, some additional time to demolish the building was granted.
The Council has now commented that the matter has finally come to an end and are satisfied that Mr Fidler has complied with the requirements of the outstanding Enforcement Notices.