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Farmer loses bid to keep castle

Published 16/04/2015

Robert Fidler outside his home he built near Redhill, Surrey
Robert Fidler outside his home he built near Redhill, Surrey

A farmer has been ordered to tear down a mock Tudor castle that he built after losing a seven year-legal battle.

Robert Fidler, 63, says that it will be hard to demolish the four-bedroom castle at Honeycrock Farm, in Salfords, Surrey, but he now accepts: "I don't think I have any choice really."

Mr Fidler, who built the property without permission, has been fighting to save it from demolition since Reigate and Banstead Borough Council ordered it to be knocked down in 2008. The Government backed the council after an appeal last year.

Mr Fidler told the BBC website: "Obviously it would be quite difficult to demolish something you are very proud of. I don't think I have any choice really.

"What they are saying now is if I don't demolish it within 90 days, they can put me in prison."

In a statement, the council ruled out suggestions that the castle could stay, saying it would set an unacceptable precedent for development in the green belt.

It said: "The construction breached national and local planning rules designed to protect the green belt, which local authorities like ours have a duty to uphold."

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