British millionaire Patrick Diter and his wife Monica, as reports have it, originally wanted to own a mansion in Tuscany. But they ended up settling for a Tuscan-style mansion in Grasse, roughly an hour north of Nice, in France, a decision they may now be regretting. That's because a French court has ruled that the massive, $64 million mansion dubbed "Chateau Diter" must now be demolished.
CNN reports that Diter did not have the proper authorization and permits before he built the mansion, which sprawls across 18 suites, a swimming pool, numerous expertly manicured grounds, and even a helicopter pad. Now, he has 18 months to tear it all down, or face a fine of $226,000 plus $565 for every day the house remains standing after the deadline has passed. According to The Guardian, the infraction was failure to get permission to build the mansion in an area of protected woodlands, a charge that the court in question clearly takes pretty seriously, judging by the fines that were levied if the house is not demolished in a timely fashion.
Diter himself has agreed to tear down any buildings on the property, which he reportedly purchased free and clear, that were illegally built. But as it happens, this isn't the first legal trouble the Chateau Diter has found itself in – Diter's neighbors have lodged numerous complaints about noise coming from the property in the past few years, thought to stem from the practice of renting it out for events like weddings and film productions, and a court recently ordered him to pay out some $50,000 in fines.
The French woodlands' gain will be the Boutique Hotel Awards' loss, since the Chateau Diter was recognized by that institution after the Diters began renting it out as a boutique hotel. They described it as "incredibly luxurious," and as having "glamour and beauty in abundance." Hopefully for luxury boutique hotel lovers everywhere, Chateau Diter will be eventually reborn in another, more suitable location.
If you want to take a look at the Chateau Diter, you can do so in the YouTube video below by Philippe Nazet: