Robert Fidler built the castle on his home in Salfords, Surrey, England, unbeknownst to local officials. Once discovered, he was told to destroy it. However, Fidler says he can’t on the grounds that it currently houses endangered species of bats and newts.
“What I want to make clear to this court concerning my actions of complying with the order, is that I complied thoroughly until the presence of bats and newts was confirmed. I started a demolition process within the 90-day period, but came across what I can only understand to be a criminal matter,” Fidler told the courts, according to the Daily Mail.
Fidler found a website about bats that mentioned a European law that, apparently, overrides English law and local authority.
“I understand from the website that if there were any endangered species threatened by actions of either demolishing the building or the garden wall, that it was a very serious offence,” he said.
And it gets more interesting.
Fidler sold the property earlier this year.
However, the judge presiding over the case determined the contract was not binding since, you know, Fidler hadn’t secured the proper permits to build the castle in the first place, hasn’t been paying the proper taxes, etc.
Fidler faces three months in jail if he doesn’t comply with demolish by June of next year. Fidler has also been ordered to pay the council’s legal costs, which amount to about $76,000 American.
'I hope that you have gathered I will not take kindly to giving you this opportunity and finding some more contrived or lame excuses have been found for non-compliance,' Justice Dove said, according to the Daily Mail
Check out the beautiful – and soon-to-be demoed – castle below.
A farmer built a castle and hid it behind a stack of hay, and now he faces jail time if he continues to refuse to demolish it. Seriously.