Millionaires desperate final move to save illegal man cave from bulldozers

A millionaire who illegally built a luxury man cave in his back garden, has made a desperate last attempt to save it from being torn down.

The 10,000 square ft site has been dubbed the 'Britain's best man cave' after millionaire Graham Wildin kitted it out with a squash court, cinema, casino, and even a bowling alley.

But since Wildin didn’t get planning permission before building the site eight years ago, it resulted in a bitter dispute with his neighbours, resulting in a court order to tear down the structure.

Orders that the now 69-year-old has ignored, and according to previous reports even went as far as using his array of classic coals to block the road to his home to prevent demolition.

Now in a desperate attempt to save his project, Wildin appears to have sold his properties on Meendhurst Road.

According to the land-registry records the properties have either been transferred or sold to a company owned by the wealthy accountant’s family members – making it near impossible for the local authorities to order the building to be removed.

According to Gloucester Live, the surrounding land has been divided into three over recent years. Wildin’s home 24 Meendurst road and 24a which stands directly in front of his mancave have been transferred to a company called Expresser Ltd. While the structure, known as 24b, still belongs to Wildin.

The move means they would have to give permission for the bulldozers to pass over their land in order to reach Wildin's protected project. And the tactic has split opinions among the other residents on the street.

One said: "The council can't now knock it down, as legally they have to have the permission of the landowner to cross the land to get to the building – like it or loathe it, it's clever,"

However, others were less complimentary, adding that Wildin was "digging his own grave and the council will bury him".

That said, one neighbour who lives directly in the shadow of the towering leisure complex admitted he'd rather Wildin was allowed to carry on.

He explained that he'd endured years of noise and disruption while it was being built and couldn't face the prospect of similar upheaval if it's torn back down.

Wildin first sparked outrage when he was found to have carried out the work without the required planning permission in 2014.

A lengthy legal fight followed, ending with a High Court judge handing down an injunction in 2018. He was initially given until the end of April 2020 to remove the man-cave and, after failing to carry out the orders, was found in contempt of court.

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Wildin was handed down a custodial sentence of six weeks, suspended for 12 months in November last year and a new deadline to pull it down, thereby avoiding jail, was set for March 10 this year. But, nearly a month later, nothing has been done and the structure remains in place.

Both Graham Wildin and Forest of Dean District Council Council have been contacted for comment.

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