In a desperate – and frankly quite fun – way to dodge planning laws, a man has claimed independence from the UK and crowned himself king of his land.
46-year-old Steve Ogie wanted to build a small home on a plot of land he owns near Castle, Guernsey, but his application was refused.
Steve then jumped to what I can only assume was the next logical conclusion in his mind, and declared the land ‘Everland’, making himself its ruler.
Well, it would have been weird if he created a new land and made someone else the ruler.
Explaining his situation, he said:
I wanted to build a small home there, but Guernsey planners wouldn’t allow it and I got to the end of my straw and declared independence.
I wanted to get my two bed home with a flat roof, that’s all I’ve ever wanted
Everland is 150ft long and about 50 ft wide, I intend to live there. I expect I’ll win, I think I’m correct.
Steve has ignored three compliance notices telling him to stop developing the plot of land, and is now on a mission to have Everland classified as its own state.
He started with the Royal Court in Guernsey, but they unfortunately rejected his campaign, reasoning the land had no population, therefore couldn’t be a country.
A determined Steve wasn’t going to give up without a fight though, and argued the land actually had quite a large population made up of worms and insects.
He added his country would have a population of five ‘voting’ members alongside the insects – and they would all have their own passport. Does he mean the insects will have passports too? I hope so.
Steve fought under the terms of the Montevideo Convention of 1933, referring to a state having a population which was a stable community.
He said Everland was an independent state, and as such, he didn’t recognise the Guernsey court’s jurisdiction.
Needless to say, the court weren’t convinced.
Determined to make his reign legitimate, the King of Everland is taking his fight to the United Nations and is optimistic it’ll all be sorted in a mere 10 years.
Not long, then.
Steve continued sharing his plans, mentioning how he’d made his daughter a Princess of Everland:
It should have all blown over in 10 years, hopefully before. They’ve tried to get me with an injunction but that’s been adjourned until I can prove I’m a micro-nation.
The judge said one man can’t govern himself, I’ve got my daughter as part of the population as well – Princess Evalyn Ogier, she’s eight.
He went on:
I’ve now got a population of five citizens and they’re all voting citizens, that makes them a population. No one is resident currently but they have passports and they have a vote.
It’s a legal document, they can use the passport to get a driving license – but it will only be valid in Everland.
I’m not sure they’ll need a car to drive the 150ft across Everland, but I suppose it’s nice for the residents to have the option.
Deputy Bailiff, Richard McMahon heard an application from the Development & Planning Authority who wanted to bring an injunction against Steve, halting his work.
However, Steve said he’s prepared to make a formal undertaking not to proceed with any development on the land:
I don’t intend to do any more work until I can prove I am an independent country. I’ve sent an email to the United Nations and I’m awaiting confirmation.
I’ve explained who I am and I’m waiting to hear whether it’s enough to be considered independent. We’ve got no sports players in Everland so we won’t be entering the World Cup, but we’ll see where it gets.
I intend to fight my corner and defend myself in the courts.
As ridiculous as it all is, I’m actually on King Steve’s side for this one.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.