Is that a mock Tudor Castle in your haystack or are you just happy to see me?

17 07 2008

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34 responses

9 08 2008
Cable Dude

Genius!
I’m fed up of being faced with families who can’t support themselves popping out six kids and being financially supported by hard working tax payers while the government moans about “everyone must be green” while being chauffeur driven around in a V8 Jag that does 12 mpg around town.
Good luck to this guy. Is he stretching the statement of the law? Absolutely. However, if The Law decides he can keep it, then great.
A hard working guy who wanted to support his family and provide them with a home.
…If he does fail in his bid, maybe they can turn it into a prison where murderers and rapists can be put rather than turning them loose.
Failing that it could be a home for illegal immigrants. Maybe they’d prefer that to not infringe their Basic Human Rights.
The worlds gone mad, and England (unfortunately) seems to be leading the way.

4 10 2008
ella and mark

we have seen this castle for our own eyes. It is not imposing and it IS on mr fiddlers own land.
congratulations robert fiddler on the completion of the house and good luck with your fight to save it
x

3 01 2009
good for them

I would love to know how Mr fiddler is getting on with is battle. I hope they get to keep their castle, good on him. Councils are forever raping and pillaging our towns villages and countrysides constructing buildings from hell developing in our green belt and our protests are ignored. Let the fiddler family have their castle.

16 02 2009
norma workman

AFTER SEEING THE DOCUMENTARY I WONDERED WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO FIDDLERS CASTLE.IS THERE ANY WORD YET.IT WAS ABSOLUTELY STUNNING AND I THINK IT SHOULD BE KEPT.IT WAS NOT DOING ANY HARM TO ANYONE.WHEN YOU SEE SOME OF THESE CONTEMPORY HOMES BUILT I THINK THE PLANNERS MUST HAVE HAD THEIR EYES SHUT WHEN THEY PASSED THEM.THEY ADD NOTHING TO THE COUNTRYSIDE WHEREAS THIS PLACE DID.GOOD LUCK IN YOUR FIGHT .ITS YOUR OWN LAND AND ITS YOUR HOUSE SO I HOPE ALL GOES WELL

2 03 2009
mrbarham

So far we are unsure what is going on with Fidlers Castle a web search doesn’t really pull any new information on the situation. We tried looking up the Fiddlers via Royal mail and sending off a letter with a request for an email but haven’t heard anything. If anyone else happens to know what the current state of things is for the fiddlers please send the info our way!

11 03 2009
Rob Walters

In may 2008 The planning Inspectorate denied Mr Fidler’s appeals and ordered the building to be demolished within 12 months.

In January 2009 Mr Fidler appeared at the High Court where he was granted the right to appeal against the Planning Inspectorate ruling.

http://www.thisissurreytoday.co.uk/planning/Secret-Salfords-castle-builder-told-fight/article-651659-detail/article.html

22 04 2009
terry foster

just watched homes from hell 23/4/2009, seen mr. fiddlers castle and if it gets demolished, it will be an absolute disgrace, the building is stunning and i wish the family luck in their fight against “planners” they
(planners) make me sick and i hope he suceeds. good luck

23 04 2009
mrbarham

wow terry…

I think that planners have a definit role to play. I mean since people plan vacations and events so that they don’t become a giant disaster shouldn’t we plan our cities at least a little bit?

23 04 2009
Jack Thompson

Not sure I agree with the “good luck to him” sentiment. Plenty of ordinary people get plans turned down. This guy seems to have plenty of money and wants to get away with it ;( – why should he?

23 04 2009
mrbarham

I think the difference between our positions Jack, comes from maybe the way that we view it. Its my opinion that Mr Fiddler did not break the law when he built his house. The planning regulations stated if the house/structure had been built for four years with no objections then it is approved. The law didn’t specify that it had to be in plain site. He found the loop hole in the law and built his house, if you find a loop hole you find a loop hole.

You can bet that the council changed the law to insure that ‘in plain sight’ is in there, or maybe they removed the option to build with no objections entirely but the Fiddlers didn’t break the letter of the law.

24 04 2009
Jack Thompson

If I’ve read this correctly, he’s paid out £50k to build a property which, if above board, might be worth 10 or 20 times (?) what he’d paid.

Whether or not he gets away with it is in the hands of the Courts.

But why should he get away with it? Plenty of those of us with more modest finances get planning permission turned down all the time.

It’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out, but we could be in for a long battle.

17 08 2009
Vince

good luck Mr Fiddler, you have built such a beautiful place… I hope you get to enjoy it for as long as you wish!!!

17 08 2009
john

let him keep it…its a great place….they build these bloody eye sore mosks all over the bloody place..and silly small house that are a eye sore in place of great old house that have been knocked down…its a nice place and it looks good where it is….the planers and council should concentrate on other intrests……

17 08 2009
Luke T

Fair play to them all!! They worked hard and built a stunning house without being noticed. He has found a loop hole in the planning regs and used it to his full advantage. Anyone who thinks they don’t deserve to keep it is probably just jealous that they didn’t think of the idea first, I know I am!!! Good luck to them.

29 12 2009
Jenny Mack

Good on yer Fidlers, come to New Zealand and build one for us

5 01 2010
Thomas

The Council has every right to demolish this hideous illegal structure – the law is the law – if an individual wishes to break the law, of course he should be punished – do people really support the idea that one can pick and choose which laws to obey and which to flout? The green belt planning laws have protected our countryside for 70 years – this man is a vandal and a criminal. If this case is allowed then we can kiss goodbye to our green fields and woodlands as the legal precedent means anyone can copy this obnoxious couple and England will be covered by houses.

5 01 2010
John Ellis

Mr Fiddler – What can I say?
How wonderful to see a hard working, British family man buck the system. I’m so sick and tired of reading of illegal immigrants and “would be” bombers being supported by our taxes whilst the rest of us pick up the tab.
Our unelected premier stumbles from one fiasco to the next, clearly unable to run a whelk stall yet the burocrats still manage to control British people’s lives in the most unjust manner.
Good luck to you Mr Fiddler – your house is indeed your castle (well at least from one aspect) and I would support you in any way to help you save it – how about a petition? I’m sure that the majority of sensible people would support you.

5 01 2010
lorraine

I have just seen the TV program regarding this house, the film showed a clip of the next part of the prog, my first thought was “what an arrogant man” then the next part came on and I soon changed my mind.
An genius! ok he has the money to fight his case. This man owns a huge chunk of land, this will not be built on, he provides jobs for the locals, he pays his dues.
What is wrong with the planning officers? is it that they don’t get to act the big I AM, see how important I AM” or is someone missing out on a back hander? planning officers are nothing but who have not a clue of what the areas really need or want.

GO GET THEM !!
Illegitimi non carborundum

5 01 2010
elainehgiles

Just seen a re-run this evening, any news on the Appeals Court?

17 01 2010
Michael

I just saw your story – brilliant – I think the ‘Green Belt’ laws are there to protect, but you found a loophole and acted within the law as was stated during the time of construction. Yes, the law will be changed, but you must keep your Castle……. It may just represent the last of its kind.

28 01 2010
allan burn

good luck Mr Fidler ,what a nice change to see someone stand up against these little Hitlers

3 02 2010
jacqui madders

brilliant. The country needs people like him. Thinks outside the box. Someone ought to harness his ability to think and do….and make him a government leader. This man really, really thinks ahead.

3 02 2010
Jaymee

I think Mr Fiddler should be able to keep HIS castle that is built on HIS land and paid for with HIS money.
If it was an immigrant that done this they would be allowed to keep it in fear of the racism debate.
Does HIS castle on His Land Paid for by HIM, really affect anyone?

& why are the council opposing…council tax??

They need to start changing their priorities by weeding out the benefit theifs, and the scummy immagrants who work illegally taking jobs meant for BRITISH CITIZENS!

get a grip, let fiddler have his castle and get the council to do some ‘real’ work.

4 02 2010
Shane Gravs

Let him keep it he worked so hard, the council are only jealous. Leave him alone good on you guys.

4 02 2010
aqngie thorn

This is madness, leave the guy alone, its his land and nobody complained about it so why make it so difficult. Whats the problem, didn’t the planning department get the back hander they expect!!

29 05 2010
ARightFiddler

Fidler by name, fidler by nature…it’s a hideous structure which should be blown up, not just demolished. I’m afraid Fidler represents everything that’s wrong in British society, he and his family have no respect for the law, and the house should have been demolished immediately, court of a appeal what a piss take.

29 05 2010
Albert.

How many times do you read in the papers,where gypsies/travellers move onto green belts over the weekends,when councils are off. Come Monday,they have water and lec and tarmac laid,and they are still there many years later,all over the country. I’m sure they are more of a eyesore than this chaps castle. Do as they,plead your human rights.
PS. I have just watched the program again on ITV 29-5-2010.

4 06 2010
stuart

Heyy the castle looks great we saw it last year and yesterday on home from hell I ask how can they put it on that programme we heard it was in the bourough of reigate and banstead the same bourough as our flat. Me and my husband have driven round bourgh to see if we can find it but as of yet no luck. However we will keep searching. We believe the castle should be allowed to remain and we wish you all the luck in your battle. People are jealous if they disagree its about time someone starts to think about themselves instead of everybody else I remember the latest bombings ion London transport where was the govenment then I tell you where standing outside protecting mosques maybe they should think of making our country beautiful by things that are different instead of other countries. The only reason council want to demolish it is there not making a profit on it. I wish the fiddlers all the luck.

4 06 2010
stuart

Hey the castle looks great we saw it last year and yesterday on home from hell I ask how can they put it on that programme we heard it was in the bourough of reigate and banstead the same bourough as our flat. Me and my husband have driven round bourgh to see if we can find it but as of yet no luck. However we will keep searching. We believe the castle should be allowed to remain and we wish you all the luck in your battle. People are jealous if they disagree its about time someone starts to think about themselves instead of everybody else I remember the latest bombings ion London transport where was the govenment then I tell you where standing outside protecting mosques maybe they should think of making our country beautiful by things that are different instead of other countries. The only reason council want to demolish it is there not making a profit on it. I wish the fiddlers all the luck.

16 06 2010
PAUL

MR THOMAS HAVE YOU EVER FLOWN IN TO ENGLAND FROM ABROAD THERE IS MILES OF ACRES OF GREEN LAND TO BUILD HOUSES ON, IT WOULD BE JUST IF WE ALL HAD THE RIGHT TO BUILD WHERE WE WANTED, BUT ITS POMPUSS SNOBS LIKE YOURSELF THAT HAVE HELD US ( PEASANTS ) FROM HAVING THE FREEDOM TO DO SO IN A COUNTRY WHAT NO ONE SHOULD OWN IT WAS HERE BEFORE THE HUMAN RACE AND IT WILL BE THERE AFTER THE LAW IS TO GOVERN THE RICH NOT PROTECT THE POOR ( SORRY ABOUT THE COMMAS, I AM NOT VERY ACADEMIC. SALFORD LAD

16 06 2010
PAUL

AND I GOT THAT WRONG ABOUT THE LAW IT PROTECTS THE RICH AND GOVERNS (REPRESSIVLY) THE POOR

27 11 2010
cazza

Thursday 11 March 2010
A planning case has recently hit the headlines concerning a farmer’s battle to save his home ( a newly constructed castle) from an order the local Council made for it’s demolition.

The farmer, Mr Fiddler, built his castle hidden behind large straw bales without obtaining planning permission and hid it behind a large wall of straw bales for four years in an attempt to avoid enforcement action by the Local Planning Authority. Mr Fiddler lost his case before the High Court which upheld the Council’s Enforcement Notice which required him to demolish the castle within 12 months.

Interestingly, a case decided just before Mr Fiddler’s, which also involved an element of concealment by the landowner, had an entirely different outcome and it is therefore unsurprising that Mr Fidler has been reported as having decided to appeal the High Court ruling.

Mr Fiddler built his castle in 2002 and moved into it with his family without applying for and obtaining planning permission. According to the Planning Inspector’s findings, Mr Fidler was aware that planning permission would be required and “in a clandestine fashion” shielded the building operations with large straw bales over which he placed tarpaulin. Just over four years later, in 2006, Mr Fiddler removed the straw bales and tarpaulin to reveal a large four bedroom home in the design of a castle with a forecourt, patio and conservatory. The local Council served upon him an Enforcement Notice in March 2007 requiring the demolition of the castle. Mr Fiddler appealed the Enforcement Notice to the Planning Inspector in May 2008 but his appeal was unsuccessful. He appealed the Planning Inspector’s decision to the High Court and his case was heard this month.

Section 171(b) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 provides that where there has been a breach of planning control in the carrying out without planning permission of “building engineering, mining or other operations inland, no enforcement can be taken outside four years of the date when the operations were substantially completed”.

Mr Fiddler’s position was that his castle had been finished by June 2002, albeit concealed behind straw bales, but his family had been living in it since that date. He had then removed the straw bales in July 2006, over four years later, and on that basis the service by the Borough Council of a Planning Enforcement Notice in March 2007 was out of time.

The Planning Inspector investigated the matter and he concluded that the building operations described by Section 171(b) were not complete until Mr Fiddler removed the straw bales in July 2006 and, therefore, the Borough Council’s service of the Enforcement Notice in March 2007 was within the time limit set out in the legislation.

In the High Court, Mr Fiddler’s representatives argued that the removal of the bales was not part of the building operations. They argued that “building operations” related to the construction of the dwelling house and the removal of straw bales was not part of the intrinsic construction of the castle.

Alternatively, if that was wrong, his lawyers argued, and the removal of the straw bales had constituted part of the building operations, it was wrong to say that the building was not substantially complete until the bales had been removed.

The High Court Judge took the view that the statutory definition of “operations” in Section 171 was not exhaustive and that the removal of the straw bales was part of the building operations. Further, the building operations became “substantially complete” when the bales were removed.

However, a case decided just prior to Mr Fiddler’s case, involving Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, reached a different conclusion. This case involved a landowner who had obtained planning permission to construct a barn. The permission was subject to various conditions one of which was that the building could be used only for the storage of hay and agricultural products. The landowner, however, had always intended to live there and had consrtructed the building to appear as if it was a hay barn whereas, internally, the property had been fitted out as a domestic residence and the landowner’s family had moved into it. Four years later the landowner applied to the Council for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use on the grounds that the Borough Council had not taken any enforcement action within the four years time limit laid down by Section 171(b). In this case the landowner’s appeal succeeded before the Court of Appeal. The Court’s view was that the provisions of Section 171 had been drafted clearly. Had it been intended that there should be a different outcome where landowners deliberately conceal the true position, the legislation should have said so. It was not for the courts to try to adopt a “contrived” interpretation of the legislation.

If Mr Fiddler proceeds with his appeal to the Court of Appeal, it will be interesting to see the Court of Appeal’s approach to reconciling the outcomes of the two cases.

19 04 2011
Mike

Any update on this story? Last I heard was that a year ago he’d been given 12 months to demolish the property…………….

1 12 2015
David j mordaunt

Good luck to Fiedler family . I live in Sussex out in the sticks ,the old farm next to me got permission to be demolished and a beautiful ‘ancient’wealden 3bed room house built ,was supported by all nearbye residents . The developers then asked for 2 dormer windows this was granted by the site officer ,no going to commitee !!!!totally changed the whole build into a7 !!!! Bedroom monster abortion of a kit house of mock mock Tudor stlye imported from Wales with their men . If you want to see how ‘brown ‘ envelopes work come and see this travesty in a council designated “area of outstanding natural beauty ” !!!!! All requirements of the permission were ignored , in the application were several false hoods . Is who you know ,and happy brown envelopes . I fully support mr Fidlers battle , you conformed to planning regs.

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