Friday, January 25, 2008

I can't believe they want to demolish this beautiful house

A FARMER who secretly built a castle and lived in it for four years while it was disguised as a stack of straw is now battling to save it from demolition.Robert Fidler, 59, of Honeycrock Farm, in Axes Lane, Salfords, spent two years building the castle, complete with ramparts and cannon, from behind a barricade of 8ft by 4ft bales to hide it from council planners.
The father-of-six then moved his wife and son inside when the castle was completed in 2002. There they lived for four years with only straw to view from the windows.
Shocked neighbours spotted the structure, which cost £50,000 to build, after it was unveiled when the hundreds of bales and blue tarpaulin sheets were taken down in May 2006.The farmer has applied to the council for a Certificate of Lawfulness which can be sought after a development has been in place for at least four years without planning permission.Mr Fidler said: "I can't believe they want to demolish this beautiful house. To me it [the council] is no different from vandals who just want to smash it down.
"But I'm not worried because I don't believe I've done anything wrong."
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