Another development in this ongoing case. Mr Fidler thought he could get around planning laws by concealing his building behind straw bales. Section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 states that no enforcement action can be taken after a period of four years has passed, but subsequent case law has allowed for an exception to this rule in the case of 'deliberate concealment'.
It appears Mr Fidler is now claiming there are bats and newts in the area and therefore he cannot demolish the building without being in breach of the protective laws surrounding these animals.
The article states that the Council have spent £50,000 to date on this case which may be surprising, but is sending a clear message to those who may try and use similar 'loopholes'.
A farmer who hid his illegally built four-bedroom castle behind straw bales claims it cannot be knocked down because it is home to protected bats and newts. The High Court heard how Robert Fidler hid his property from the council for years behind a giant wall of bales, but has now been given an injunction ordering its demolition. Mr Fidler, 67, argued that he would be breaking European laws if he demolished the house as required by a court order without establishing the possible impact on "roosting" bats at the property.