Surrey

Surrey farmer Robert Fidler's 'castle' exterior removed

Remains of Robert Fidler's 'castle' Image copyright SWNS
Image caption The exterior has gone showing bricks and corrugated iron underneath

A farmer who built a mock-Tudor castle without planning permission has dismantled more of the structure.

Robert Fidler, who built the house at Salfords in the Surrey greenbelt, was ordered to tear it down or face jail.

After losing a High Court fight to save his home, he began demolition in March.

Reigate council said it was monitoring the situation but added the High Court order required demolition to be complete by 6 June. Mr Fidler has not commented to the BBC.

Latest pictures show ramparts have been removed from the structure leaving the brickwork and corrugated iron underneath.

Image caption Mr Fidler fought nearly a decade of legal battles to save the house
Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Demolition began in March

The first enforcement order was served by Reigate council nearly 10 years ago and almost a decade of legal battles followed.

The planning authority told the farmer again in 2007 to demolish the property, prompting a 1,840-strong petition to save it.

Last November, a High Court just gave Mr Fidler a three-month suspended sentence and warned him he would be jailed for his "defiance" if the property was not demolished by June.

The four-bedroom property, which Mr Fidler hid behind hay bales for four years, included a kitchen, living room, study, a gravelled forecourt and a conservatory.

In a statement on Friday, a Reigate council spokeswoman said: "We continue to monitor the situation at Honeycrock Farm. The unlawful building has been reduced to first floor level with some works to the ground floor level as well.

"The High Court order requires Mr Fidler to have completed demolition by 6 June.

"We have already given Mr Fidler advice about the options available to him for providing alternative accommodation in existing lawful buildings on his site."

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