The haystacks, covered with tarps and old tires, were ugly.
And yet no one complained.
The people near Honeycrock Farm, Salfords, Redhill, Surrey, knew that Robert Fidler was building something behind his haystacks. But, maybe because they were, at heart, good British people, they said nothing.
But what Fidler had built behind the stacks of hay was a mock Tudor mansion, complete with cannons and turrets and such.
Tastes differ as to its beauty, but hey: it was a lot better than hay.
After building it for two years, he and his family lived in it for four. Without telling anybody.
And then came down the haystacks.
And came trouble.
Fidler thought that he had gotten around the local planning laws by living in his structure for four years without complaint. Too bad, then, that the Reigate and Banstead Council says that rule is void — because nobody had been given a chance to see it.
They had seen ugly haystacks, instead.
Now, you probably thought that zoning laws and building codes were there to protect neighbors. But the neighbors had no complaints about ugly haystacks with blue tarp. A nice house in olden style?
Why complain about that?
Well, some did. Why shouldn’t Fidler have to go through the same Kafkaesque nightmare they did?
I guess they didn’t appreciate the cleverness of the ploy.
Not so clever, however, that he’ll be allowed to keep his house. Too bad.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.