A millionaire accountant who illegally built ‘Britain’s best man cave’ featuring a bowling alley, cinema and casino is accused of still not knocking it down despite suffering his fifth court defeat.
Neighbours of 70-year-old Graham Wildin, who built the 10,000sq/ft extension at the rear of his home back in 2014 without applying for planning permission, say it is still standing despite being ordered to demolish it nearly two months ago.
Ever since he has been involved in an ongoing battle over the luxury complex at the back of his home in Cirencester, Gloucesterhire, even serving six weeks in jail because of his defiance.
In March, Mr Wildin lost his fifth court battle, after three High Court judges declared it was right to jail him for defying court orders – despite claiming he had sold the building to a Mexican for just £1.
Those who live nearby to the stubborn pensioner, however, have rubbished these claims, saying it is another ‘ploy’ against the council.
Accountant Graham Wildin, (pictured) 70, built the 10,000sq/ft extension at the rear of his home in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, back in 2014, without applying for planning permission
Mr Wildin was jailed after building ‘Britain’s largest man cave’ without planning permission and refusing to tear it down
The neighbours, who all asked to remain anonymous over fear of retaliation, said nothing had been done to rectify the situation.
One said: ‘The Mexican claim is a real laugh.We know that’s all c**p. He just gives everyone the run around all the time.’
Another laughed: ‘I’ve not seen a Mexican round here. That’s a figment of his imagination – it’s just another ploy to the council.
‘There is a white removal van on his drive that has been there for nearly 12 months and has not moved.Nothing has been taken out as far as I know.’
A third neighbour said: ‘I have seen no Mexicans. To be honest with you, he tells lies. You can’t believe one word he says.’
Mr Wildin’s neighbours also allege 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.
Seven vehicles were seen parked on his driveway on Friday 28 April, with a further six identified by neighbours as his parked on the road.
They included a grey Bentley Turbo R, a yellow convertible Jenson-Healey sports car and a burgundy Austin 1100.
One elderly lady living on the road said she was unable to use her drive anymore because two of Wildin’s cars were parked either side of the entrance, making it too difficult for her to get out.
The leisure complex comes fitted with its own bar, bowling alley, cinema and even a casino area
Mr Wildin pictured lounging in the cinema room within the huge extension at the rear of his property
Back in March, Mr Wildin claimed he had sold the extension to a Mexican for just £1, but his defiant neighbours have rubbished the claims
She said: ‘I can get in but I can’t get out.If he moved them, it would be okay.
‘I tried to speak to his son and asked him to ask if the cars could be moved. He said he would but from that day on he hasn’t even looked at me.
‘Why should I have to move my car?It’s very upsetting because he’s taking it out on us.’
Another neighbour said: ‘Cars appear in our spaces when we’re out at work. Wildin has cameras looking out onto the street to spot when we move our cars out of our spaces.
‘It’s very intimidating.No one likes living here when you come back after work and feel deflated pulling into the street.
‘I don’t understand why he feels he needs to make his neighbours suffer.’
Another said: ‘He sits there watching the cameras and plays cat and mouse with his collection of classic cars.
‘He is a bloody nightmare, and he is making people’s lives hell.
‘The illegal sports centre doesn’t worry me but he’s blaming us neighbours for planet88 the council’s actions, so he’s decided to cause parking mayhem.’
Accountant Mr Wildin built the 10,000sq ft complex behind his home (pictured) in 2014 without permission
A fourth resident added: ‘The parking here is terrible, and he is causing a lot of aggro.He’s doing it on purpose too.
‘Nothing has changed in the two years I have lived here, and something should be done about it.
‘The complex shouldn’t have been built. The law is law. Why should he get away with it?’
Wildin did not respond to a request to comment at his home.
Following his High Court case in March he was initially given 18 weeks from his release to comply with a previous court order to make the giant leisure complex unusable by ‘soft stripping’ the inside.
At the Court of Appeal Wildin claimed he sold the complex to a Mexican man for just £1 and produced land registry documents to prove he was no longer the legal owner.
He also claimed it had been mothballed and could not be accessed legally with most of the contents moved to other family members.
But two months since what was his fifth court defeat, neighbours say nothing has been done to rectify the situation.
Wildin told the latest hearing it was ‘no longer my problem’ because he had sold the complex to a mystery ‘Mexican man’ for £1 and it was impossible to remove radiators and its bowling alley
Wildin told the latest hearing it was ‘no longer my problem’ because he had sold the complex to a mystery ‘Mexican man’ for £1 and it was impossible to remove radiators and its bowling alley.
But Forest of Dean District Council has insisted it is ‘continuing to pursue’ its case against him.
The first of his 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 – which features a bowling alley, casino and a cinema.
He failed to comply with the injunction and was given a suspended sentence in June 2021.
He then lost an appeal against the sentence at the Court of Appeal that November and he was ordered to demolish the complex by March 10 2022.
When Wildin’s defiance continued, the six-week suspended sentence for contempt of court 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 early January and last month was his FIFTH court defeat as his sentence was upheld and he was ordered to pay £9,962 in costs to the district council.
A Forest of Dean District Council spokesperson said: ‘We are continuing to pursue the matter and will continue to provide updates on this matter when available.
‘As this is an ongoing legal investigation, we are unable to comment further at this time.’