There can be few if any people in planning circles who have not heard of Mr Fidler and his “castle” near Redhill in Surrey. It is (or rather it was) the building hidden behind straw bales and under tarpaulin for over four years, following which there was a very protracted legal battle spanning around a decade between Mr Fidler on the one hand and Reigate & Banstead Borough Council on the other. Matters came to a head in November 2015, when Mr Fidler was found to be in contempt of court for not complying with an injunction order requiring the building’s demolition whereupon he was sentenced to 3 months in prison (suspended until 6 June 2016).
The court was given an update today, with the parties providing Dove J with evidence that the building has been very largely demolished. The “castle” is now effectively reduced to rubble. Mr Fidler still has certain steps to undertake in terms of removing debris and restoring the land, and for this reason the matter was adjourned by agreement until 4 July 2016.
Stephen Whale of Landmark Chambers represented the Council in the contempt of court proceedings, and several other barristers from chambers have represented the Council in this matter over the past decade and a half or so.
For a BBC news report, click here.