A millionaire who illegally built ‘Britain’s Best Man Cave’, angering courts and his neighbors, finally appears to be bowing to public pressure.
For years, Graham Wildin has refused to dismantle a 10,000-square-foot expansion of his home that will include a movie theater, squash court, bowling alley, private bar and casino.
The luxury complex in Forest-of-Dean, Gloucestershire was first built without planning permission in 2013 – and has been an issue ever since.
After losing a fight in the High Court, the 70-year-old was jailed last year for failing to comply with an order to close the building.
He was given 18 weeks after his release to comply with an earlier order to “gently strip” the massive leisure complex unusable.
With Wildin serving only about half of the six-week sentence imposed on Aug. 12, 2022, the 18 weeks since his release Friday had expired.
Moving trucks were spotted in front of the property and eventually loaded with things.
But the neighbors remain cynical, the entire man cave will ever be demolished, and they would get peace.
“He has a couple of white vans there and we think he loaded stuff in there,” said a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.
‘He’s loading some items in, they haven’t been moved in so long, but we get the impression that once the council comes to check that the interiors of the building have been cleared out, he’ll put everything back in again.’
They added: “Wildin thinks he’s smart – but he’s not that smart. We can see everything he does.
‘He’s got people working there, so they’re probably putting it in the vans for him.
“A lot has happened there this week but he has had 18 weeks to do this so I expect something will be done.
“Now his cars are still there, he parks his sports cars all over the road to make life as difficult as possible for all of us.
“It makes parking our cars a nightmare, especially when we have more than one car.
“I don’t expect the council to show up today, they usually wait a couple of days, but I expect if they do next week it’ll just replace everything.”
Another resident said they had “no idea” what was going on there, but they saw people entering and exiting the gated “villa.”
Council officials have vowed not only to continue the planning battle to the “Soft Strip,” but to get rid of the entire complex.
Forest of Dean District Council has made it clear that it has no plans to drop the row above the Meendhurst Road leisure centre.
A spokesman said: “This is an ongoing legal matter and the Council will follow it up.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/08/gloucestershire-man-cave-may-finally-be-demolished-after-annoying-neighbours-for-years-18059675/ Gloucestershire: Man cave could finally be demolished after years of bugging neighbors