- Tower Hamlets
The home of Hackney’s infamous Mole Man has fetched £1.2 million at auction yesterday, 50% more than its asking price.
William Lyttle, nicknamed Mole Man, gained notoriety six years ago when it was discovered that he had dug an elaborate labyrinth of tunnels under his East London home over a period of 40 years.
He was evicted from the house in 2006 when Hackney council deemed the property unsafe and the site, now derelict, was cleared of a massive 33 tonnes of debris including three cars and a boat.
Situated on prime real estate on Mortimer Road, the 20 room house was expected to fetch £750,000 despite failing to sell last year for a guide price of £500,000.
The high sale value can be attributed to newly acquired planning permission for two three-storey townhouses.
The auction price may go some way to footing the six figure bill left by the reclusive pensioner. After being evicted by the council, Lyttle was accommodated in a hotel for three years until a flat was found at a cost of £45,000 to the taxpayer.
In 2008 the High Court ordered him to pay £293,000 to Hackney Council for repairs and banned him from going near the property. Lyttle died in 2010 failing to pay and the council was left with a £408,000 bill.
The legendary house is expected to be demolished by its new owners with local property agents speculating that the two separate homes could be worth up to £1m each.