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Grandad ordered to demolish his private ‘leisure centre’ and cough up £30K

Balls-up: Graham Wildin inside his leisure centre PICTURES: SWNS

A MAN ordered to knock down ‘Britain’s best man cave’ which he built illegally in his back garden has been told to pay £30,000 to the council to cover its prosecution costs.

Graham Wildin, 66, spent four years battling with authorities over the private leisure complex.

It contains a bowling alley, cinema, casino and a gym — and pictures from Google Earth show it looking like a massive factory.

But a High Court judge said the granddad-of-five must comply with the council and remove the centre.

Huge: An aerial view of the construction in Mr Wildin’s back garden

He dismissed claims by Mr Wildin, who said he thought he did not need permission when he started construction at the back garden of his home in 2013.

The judge granted Forest of Dean District Council an injunction ordering Mr Wildin to demolish the 10,000sq ft sports and leisure building erected without planning permission.

He is also facing a £30,000 legal bill after the council was awarded costs — and has been refused permission to appeal by the judge.

The council is preparing a timetable for the cave’s demolition which could take months to complete.

Gambling man: Is Mr Wildin’s luck running out?

A spokesperson for Forest of Dean District Council said: ‘We can confirm that Mr Wildin was refused permission to appeal by HHJ Jarman QC.

‘This means that if Mr Wildin wishes to appeal, he has to seek permission directly from the Court of Appeal.

‘The council was awarded just over £30,000 costs; this is subject to confirmation in the final order.

‘The final order will also contain stipulations and timeframes regarding compliance but there is a possibility that there may be some changes so we cannot provide details until the document has been sealed.

‘As soon as it is sealed, we will be pleased to provide you with a copy of the order.’

Movie magic: Mr Wildin has his own cinema

The news will come as a relief to neighbours who often rowed with Mr Wildin.

Neighbour Garry Thomas, 37, even constructed a 12ft-wide wooden fence so he didn’t have to look at the extension.

Footage filmed by Mr Thomas’ partner from April last year shows the moment the millionaire angrily tore the fence down.

He even climbed up onto a ledge and threw a black plastic bin.

Handing down judgement last month, Judge Jarman QC said the man cave had a serious impact on neighbours.

He said Mr Wildin had not taken any steps to comply with the enforcement notice which gave him until July 7 last year to knock down the building in Cinderford, Gloucestershire.

The judgement followed a two-day hearing at Cardiff High Court in September when the council asked the judge to back an enforcement notice issued in March 2014, instructing Mr Wildin to demolish the works.

Lawyers said Mr Wildin had already appealed to the planning inspectorate and the High Court to cancel the enforcement notice and had failed on both occasions.

And he failed to comply with the enforcement requirements even though he was given over two years to do so and shunned attempts to negotiate with him.

In the beginning: Mr Wildin outside his home as work starts on his ‘man cave’ back in 2013

Mr Wildin told the court that an injunction would ruin him.

He said demolishing the man cave would cost him £720,000.

Although the judge accepted that there would be adverse impacts upon Mr Wildin, he granted the injunction.

He said Mr Wildin’s circumstance did not outweigh public interest.

Mr Wildin began building the luxury complex in 2013 and finished the following year.

He claimed that by digging it 18ft into the hillside he was taking advantage of a loophole which allows him to construct the building for use by his family.

Now Mr Wildin will have to bulldoze the centre which also contains a 25ft three-storey doll’s house and soft play for his visiting grandchildren, or face the wrath of the court.

But it will not be easy because over the years the back garden has been increasingly hemmed in.