Roof torn down as illegally-built giant man-cave gets demolished after ten year planning battle

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Watch the roof get torn off the UK's “biggest man cave” as it finally gets demolished after a decade-long planning battle.

Drone footage shows the shell of the building, which once housed a bowling alley, casino and a cinema - but had infuriated local residents as it was built without planning permission.

After a ten year court battle, the council finally started to knock down the illegal ‘man cave’ in June - and this week the roof had been torn off, revealing the gutted inside. Millionaire Graham Wildin, 70, continuously defied court orders to knock down his illegal 10,000sq/ft leisure complex - and has even served jail time over it.

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Tom Wren / SWNS

There was no sign of the plush squash courts, soft play area or bowling alley which can be seen in a video of the complex when it was first built in Wildin’s home in Cinderford, Gloucestershire.

A string of injunctions - and jail time

Wildin's first of five court defeats came in September 2018 when a High Court injunction was handed down initially giving him until the end of April 2020 to remove the building. His failure to comply, and continued defiance eventually ended with a six-week suspended sentence for contempt of court, which was activated on August 13 2022. Once released from HMP Cardiff, he was given 18 weeks to “soft strip” the interior of the building to make it unusable.

That deadline expired in January 2023 and last year was his FIFTH court defeat as his sentence was upheld and he was ordered to pay £9,962 in costs to the district council - despite claiming he had now sold it all for just £1.

Allegedly ‘harassing’ neighbours with parking and CCTV

It was reported in September 2023 he had been issued an interim injunction to stop him harassing neighbours with parking and CCTV. Wildin’s neighbours alleged he is taking his frustration with the council out on them by clogging up the street’s parking spaces with his fleet of classic cars.

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He appealed, and in December it was said he was given a final injunction - allowing him to only park two cars on the road plus provision for two visitors, who can only stay for a maximum of eight hours.

The judge also ordered that Mr Wildin cannot keep the CCTV surveillance cameras on the exterior of any vehicle nor on any extendable pole.

Holiday-let fears

But in March this year it was reported the six-bed home near the 'man cave' - thought to be owned by his family, was to become a holiday let. A temporary go-ahead has been given for it to be used as such - despite locals worries over noise, cars and "noisy revellers".

Last month Wildin was asked if he had any comment, and if he thought the demolition was fair but did not answer questions and promptly returned inside the property.

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Planning procedure not followed

A Forest of Dean District Council spokesperson said: “As a council it is our duty to ensure that planning and development proposals comply with the law and bring benefit to the local area, whilst also safeguarding the community. Hundreds of people every year follow the correct process for planning applications and development, sadly this has not been the case at this location.

Tom Wren / SWNS

“It is important to note that the cost of this process should not be borne by the taxpayer, and we will look to recover the full cost of the demolition from the landowner in due course.

“We will work closely with our demolition contractor, to limit any disruption for residents.

''We would like to also take this opportunity to thank the people living in close proximity to this property for their patience during this lengthy legal process.”

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