Fidler’s castle

I have just seen a fantastically creative scheme to get round the restrictive planning laws that we have in the UK.

Fiddlers castle

On New Homes From Hell (on ITV1) a farmer called Robert Fidler described how he built a house in secret, surround by massive haystacks, and then kept it hidden for four years.

He owned some green belt land, but knowing that he wouldn’t get planning permission to build a house on it, he decided to try to exploit a loop whole in the law which states that if a council doesn’t object to a new build property after four years, then planning is not required.

So all Robert needed to do was hide his house for 4 years.



Then once the time had passed, he pulled down the bales of hay to reveal his very own castle.


Fiddlers castle 

Robert has lived there since August 2006, but he is not in the clear yet. The council are trying to have it demolished saying that, since no-one was given a chance to see the house, the 4 year exemption is invalid.

61 thoughts on “Fidler’s castle”

  1. What a lovely house. Green belt land is there for a purpose. I m really split on what you have done……I hope it does n t make way for others to follow suit?

  2. Homes from hell, Mr fiddler knew the risks thats why he hid the construction, the law is the law,who is he to take away illegally our green space, they should release the guy from the caravan site story give him a crane i am sure he could do another great job of demolising Mr fiddlers castle.

  3. Please note that Mr Fiddler knew about the archaic Castle law; Lets hope he keeps his house but they close the loophole in the law so the green belt stays green

  4. Lots of these comments against the building are obviously by the same person or persons! They are worded the same and have the same grammar. Whilst I don’t condone people building such houses, isn’t this one on the inside a beaut. I like the castle effect on the outside and also the mock Tudor too, but not together. Good luck in keeping the building though even if you have to undergo some rectifying. PS…Funny how some people are pillocks when they do something they believe in, pity the council didn’t clamp down more on unruly neighbours and those that treat their homes and gardens like tips.

  5. Does anybody know the latest on this…I heard that the officials were saying that the bail was part of the construction and thus this was an illegal building…? Or something like that!

  6. McLaren Automotive built on green belt land and were given permission by woking council to build a huge car plant. Some years later they built another factory on the site just goes to show if you if you have lots and lots of money you too could build on green belt land just like Mr Fiddler and McLaren

  7. Is this saga still dragging on?
    Fiddler now trying to claim it’s a “farm worker’s house”? To fit that bill it must be fit for purpose and capableof being afforded (rent/purchse value) on an average farm worker’s wage.
    Keep going Reigate&Banstead, the country is behind you on this one.

  8. I think this house is beautiful what is it hurting he has no neighbours to spoil there view yes it’s on green belt land but when it suits there’s no such thing I live in a town I’ve lived for 40 yrs and across the road from me there was allways a farm and a style with a public walkway which is green belt land then it got sold and know there’s a massive housing esrptate been built on it so how did that get passed strange isn’t it

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