Regent Park builder expects permit to raze King’s Castle by week’s end

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comMarch 20, 2013 

— The iconic King’s Castle could be razed by the end of the week, one of its owners said late Wednesday.

Local builder Earl Coulston of Regent Park developer Crown Homes, said he expects to be issued a permit to demolish the two-story landmark on the campus of MorningStar Ministry in the next day or two. Coulston described himself as “a co-owner” of the colorful structure, a remnant of the Heritage USA Christian theme park built by PTL Club founders Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. Coulston is building a 100-unit townhome community just below MorningStar and said he offered to pay the cost of tearing down King’s Castle so it wouldn’t be an eyesore to residents of the new community.

“My property line goes through the back [of the Castle] so I went to [MorningStar Director] Rick [Joyner] and said ‘I’ll pay for it if you let me take it down’ and he gave me permission.”

Tuesday, a crew started to dismantle the building, once slated to become a super-sized Wendy’s fast food restaurant, but York County officials ordered workers to halt, citing the lack of a demolition permit from the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control. Coulston said he didn’t know he needed one, but that DHEC inspectors visited the site Wednesday and he expected a permit to be issued soon, pending tests for hazardous materials.

“I’ve been out here for 22 years and the county has never required me to get a state permit,” Coulston said. “I didn’t know I had to get a state permit. There’s nothing there.”

Coulston said he expects to have the permit “by the end of the week” and to finish razing the Castle by then as well.

“We’re just waiting to get the results of the tests,” he said.

The inside of King’s Castle appeared stripped and all the walls are covered with graffiti. There were several containers inside marked “alkaline.” Neither Coulston nor Joyner said they know what’s in the containers, if anything, or how they got there.

A DHEC spokesperson on Wednesday said she did not have any information on the status of the permit request.

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