Château Diter. Youtube

  • A French millionaire was ordered to destroy a R930 million Château he built from scratch, because he didn't get planning permission.
  • Property developer Pierre Diter bought a 200-meter-square farmhouse in 2000 and turned it into the 3000-meter-squared Château Diter over a 10 year period.
  • But a court in Aix-en-Provence on Monday ruled it must be razed, and gave Diter 18 months to demolish it complete with a €450,000 (R7.4 million) fine.
  • The case was supported by some of Diter's neighbors who complained about noise from weddings hosted at the chateau, which cost €50,000 an evening to rent.
  • It's built on 7 acres and features 18 suites, a swimming pool, and two helicopter pads, and was used in the Sky Atlantic show "Riviera."

A French court has told a multimillionaire businessman who spent over a decade building his dream house he must demolish it because he didn't get planning permission.

Property developer Pierre Diter was given 18 months to destroy his R930 million home in Grasse, southern France, by a court in Aix-en-Provence on Monday. He was also slapped with a fine of €450,000 (R7.4 million).

The pool at Château Diter.

The 3000-meter-squared property was developed from a 200-meter-squared farm house bought in 2000 and is now worth R930 million (€57 million,) prosecutors said.

According to Myprivatevillas, the home lies on 17 acres, with 18 suites, two helicopter pads, a swimming pool, and a manicured garden.

It is built in the traditional Tuscan style, from the region in north west Italy, but lies 40km from the French city of Nice.

The entrance hall in Château Diter.

The court told Diter he will be fined an additional €500 (R8,300) a day, every day after the 18-month deadline to demolish the house expires.

A view of Château Diter from the driveway.

At a preliminary hearing in January, prosecutor Pierre-Jean Gaury denounced the house as "a pharaonic project, delusional, totally illegal and built illegally."

He added that its construction had been carried out "in violation of the rules of urban planning of safety and environment" by an owner whose "only concern is money," Le Figaro reported.

A covered walkway bordering the gardens at Château Diter.

Monday's ruling ends a 14-year legal battle between the Aix-en-Provence courts, homeowner Diter, and several of Diter's neighbours.

Diter must demolish all the parts of the château built without planning permission, but is allowed to leave the original farmhouse standing, the court ruled.

The gardens at Château Diter.

The neighbors disapproved of the noise caused by guests who rented the house out for €50,000-a-night weddings and parties, and from disturbances caused by major film and TV productions shooting at the house. Scenes in the Sky Atlantic show "Riviera." were filmed at the house, for example.

One of 18 suites at Château Diter.

Diter told the court he will be complying with the order to raze all of the buildings constructed without permission.

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