Graham Wildin, 69, fitted a number of luxurious additions to an elaborate extension eight years ago. Within the structure dubbed “Britain’s best man cave” is a cinema, casino, and bowling alley, among other leisure activity facilities.
But the ‘man cave’ has sparked legal controversy ever since Mr Wildin embarked on construction back in 2014.
On Thursday, the deadline for Mr Wildin to pull down the addition to his home expired.
In 2021, the Court of Appeal threw out Mr Wildin’s efforts to avoid a suspended prison sentence handed down to the accountant for failing to remove the addition to his home.
Mr Wildin was given a deadline of March 10, 2022, to tear down the ‘man cave’ he built without planning permission, or face jail time.
However, onlookers relayed on Thursday that there was no indication demolition work had begun on the property.
The ‘man cave’, measuring it at a hefty 10,000 sq/ft, was the subject of a drawn-out legal battle until a High Court judge issued an injunction in 2018.
Mr Wildin was told to demolish the structure by the end of April 2020 as the court found the complex was impacting Mr Wildin’s neighbours.
He was told by the court that ignoring the instructions of the injunction could lead to his assets being seized and the accountant risked winding up in prison.
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Mr Wildin had put forward in the past that planning permission was not necessary for the addition.
He added that the costs of ripping down the luxury structure would drain him financially, and he would have to make 40 members of staff redundant.
A spokesperson for the council said: “Unfortunately due to the ongoing legal investigation, Forest of Dean District Council is unable to comment at this stage.”
However, following a previous hearing over the ‘man cave’, Councillor Tim Gwilliam said the legal battle could easily have been avoided.
He said: “If Mr Wildin had followed the guidance of experts and complied with the sentencing originally handed down, this further court date would not have been necessary.
“As a council it is important to ensure that development proposals improve the environments in which they live, whilst safeguarding the community.
“Every year, hundreds of people ask the council for planning advice and follow it. This has not been the case in Mr Wildin’s instance.
“The Forest of Dean District Council would like to again thank the people of the Forest for their patience during this lengthy process as we work to secure demolition of the building.”