An accountant loses court case over his illegally built house extension

An accountant loses court case over his illegally built house extension

Graham Wildin, a 70-year-old accountant who built a 10,000sq ft extension to his Cirencester home without planning permission, has lost his latest court battle. Wildin, who was previously jailed for failing to comply with a court order to demolish the extension, claimed that he had sold the leisure complex to a Mexican man for just £1 and produced land registry documents to prove he was no longer the legal owner. However, the High Court ruled that this revelation had no bearing on the existing case. Wildin was ordered to pay £9,962 in costs and Forest of Dean District Council will now decide whether to pursue the matter further legally.

Wildin’s extension, which came fitted with its own bar, bowling alley, cinema and casino area, sparked outrage amongst his neighbours. A lengthy legal fight followed, with a High Court judge eventually handing down an injunction in 2018. Wildin was initially given until the end of April 2020 to remove the complex, but he failed to comply with the court’s orders and was found in contempt of court.

Wildin had argued in the past that he did not need planning permission for the construction, and that having to demolish the leisure complex would ruin him and force him to lay off 40 staff. However, his claims were not accepted by the court, and he was warned that failure to comply with the injunction would see him held in contempt of court, enabling him to be jailed and have assets seized.

People online were scathing about Wildin’s refusal to knock down the extension, with some questioning the cost to taxpayers. However, some did jump to his defence, calling on residents to leave him alone.

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