Surrey farmer Robert Fidler fails to demolish 'castle'

image captionRobert Fidler built the house in 2002 and hid it behind hay bales for four years

A farmer who built a mock-Tudor castle without planning permission has failed to demolish it despite a court order.

Robert Fidler built the home at Honeycrock Farm, in Salfords, Surrey, in 2002 and hid it behind hay bales.

He has been fighting to keep it ever since but in April lost an appeal against a High Court order that it should be demolished by 24 June.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council said planners would be considering the council's next course of action.

The four-bedroom property, on greenbelt land, includes a kitchen, living room, study, a gravelled forecourt and a conservatory.

image captionRobert Fidler said he needed to live on the farm because of his cattle

Mr Fidler, who keeps a herd of Sussex cattle at the farm, submitted a new planning application in February 2014 to retain the house, in Axes Lane, on the basis of agricultural need.

Permission was refused and the case, once again, went to the High Court.

An injunction last June ordered the house to be demolished.

"As Mr Fidler has not complied with the injunction, the planning committee will be considering the council's next course of action at their meeting on 1 July," said a council spokesman.

Mr Fidler said in April he accepted he had no choice but to demolish the house but said on Friday it would be like Picasso ripping up his best oil painting.

He also said he had sold his home to an Indian businessman.

"The greenbelt law says that any new house should not be allowed unless there are very special circumstances," he said.

"The example that Parliament gives for very special circumstances is a farmer who has to be here to look after his cattle, which is exactly my situation."

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