Pandemic? What Pandemic? Millionaires in Britain are splashing the cash despite the country witnessing its toughest time in living memory. The combined wealth of the world’s 10 richest men rose by $540bn (£400bn) during the pandemic, an Oxfam study showed earlier this year.
One of them is wealthy accountant Mr Graham Wildin, a 68-year-old pensioner who has spent millions on setting up his own private bowling alley, cinema, squash courts, private casino and bar in a plush extension at his home in Cinderford, Gloucestershire.
Wilden’s wild man cave has angered his neighbours, with many filing complaints that the millionaire did not get planning permission for his luxurious extensions.
Despite this, the pensioner has refused to have his man cave removed and instead embarked on a lengthy legal battle resulting in a High Court judge giving him until the end of April 2020 to remove the 10,000sq/ft complex.
The Gloucestershire Live reports: “This ordered Mr Wildin to tear down the sports centre as it had a serious impact on his neighbours in Cinderford, Gloucestershire.
“With the controversial building still standing past the given deadline, Mr Wildin appeared in court last week where he claimed he could not comply for various reasons, including being unable to find contractors and the inability to find the necessary money.”
Mr Wildin appeared in court last week claiming he can’t tear his man cave down due to his inability to find contractors and lack of adequate funds.
Due to the claimed lack of funds, the judge found Mr Wildin in contempt of court for not soft stripping the interior of the building, for not decommissioning services and in four other respects.
Mr Justice Jarman handed down a custodial sentence of six weeks, suspended for 12 months. This was imposed on the condition that he strip the interior of the building including removing all sports equipment, the cinema, bowling alley, all doors, lighting, radiators, fixtures, fittings, sanitary ware and furniture, along with disconnecting electricity and water supplies within 18 weeks.
Speaking after the case, Forest of Dean District Council leader Tim Gwilliam said: “Today’s result was completely avoidable.
“If Mr Wildin had followed the advice of the many experts who advised him to comply with the law, he would not have faced this outcome.
“The council’s determination to see this matter through was not borne out of malice or trying to attack someone who has been a businessman in the district for many years, but simply out of doing what is right and fair.
“The council does its best to assist people in securing permissions for development proposals that improve the environment in which they live whilst safeguarding the community. It is important that the planning rules and policies are adhered to.
“The Forest of Dean District Council would like to thank the people of the Forest and the people of Cinderford in particular for their patience while we followed the lengthy process of making this happen.”
Perhaps Mr Wilden should look to online casino outlets such as Hyperino which have boomed during the coronavirus crisis. This was down to bored Britons on a look out for ways of
entertainment amid the stress, anxiety, boredom and free time that came with the coronavirus pandemic during the long months of 2020 and 2021.
It is no wonder that the gambling industry is responsible for generating a whopping £4.5 billion in tax for the UK Treasury, according to the latest statistics. This is in addition to the massive £7.7 billion the industry adds to the British economy in gross value added.