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Grand Designs couple who set out to build a ‘white art-deco lighthouse’ in 18 months are still working on it 10 YEARS later – and admit the project may be too dangerous to complete
- Edward Short, 50, from Devon, is behind the ambitious Chesil Cliff House
- Development plans approved in 2010 but have faced almost a decade of delays
- Last year Edward apologised to the community after it was branded ‘an eyesore’
- Luxury property features a huge circular tower based on a lighthouse design
- Family appear on Grand Designs tonight to document their battle to build home
A Grand Designs couple who dreamed of building a white art deco ‘lighthouse’ on a clifftop in Devon have revealed the dangers they faced during their ambitious project.
In tonight’s episode of the channel 4 show, Edward Short, 50, and his wife Hazel reveal they were granted development permission to create their clifftop home in 2010, and thought it would take just 18 months to build.
‘I always looked at it and thought it would be so cool to knock it down and build a lighthouse,’ says Edward, speaking of the project.
‘Once you get a dream like that in your head it just doesn’t budge. It’s just one of those spots where you could expect to find that type of building.’
But in November last year, Edward was forced to apologise to local residents who complained the grey concrete property was unfinished and had become an ‘eyesore’ on the beautiful coastline.
Viewers will have to wait to find out whether the project is yet to be completed until the episode airs.
Edward Short, 50, and his wife Hazel, will appear on tonight’s episode of channel 4’s Grand Designs, where they will reveal the torment of building their ‘dream’ lighthouse home
The couple, who lived in a fairly modest house on the clifftop (pictured) before they started the build, explain they wanted a house which would do the site ‘justice’
On this evening’s programme, Edward explains that he had long dreamed of building a lighthouse on the cliff – but says several factors got in the way.
‘This house doesn’t do the spot justice,’ admits Hazel. ‘We want glistening white, with lots of glass. It should look striking. It should look fantastic.’
The couple say they planned to build the luxury home, comprised of a huge circular tower and spectacular glass edge infinity swimming pool, in just 18 months.
The six-bedroom house, which they hoped would also feature a home cinema and a sauna and steam room, boasts panoramic views across Croyde Bay to the north, as well as to Saunton beach and Braunton Burrows to the south.
Last year, local residents called the lighthouse ‘an eyesore’ after it emerged the building was still unfinished – almost a decade after permission to build was granted
But it soon emerges that the build is almost impossible, with Kevin calling the project ‘total madness’.
As builders try to start erecting the steel structure of the home, they reveal even the slightest breeze makes it incredibly difficult to build.
The builders tell Edward: ‘Because it’s so exposed here, if I’m lifting up 12, 13 ft steel if a gust of wind suddenly comes, that steel will suddenly swing. And I’ve got no way of stopping it.’
And Edward admits the weather is pushing back the development on the house, saying that losing ‘three months’ on the project ‘would be a disaster’.
Later, he adds that the experience has been horrifying and says: ‘Terrifying doesn’t really sum it up to be honest.’
And Edward’s downhearted daughters also doubt the lighthouse is ‘ever going to happen.’
In November last year, it emerged the house was still unfinished, almost a decade after Edward and Hazel were granted permission for the project.
Edward says he had always dreamed of knocking down the modest home on the clifftop (pictured) and building a lighthouse in its place
The ambitious couple have been working on the home ever since they were granted permission to build in 2010
At the time, many in the local community dubbed the house a ‘total eyesore’ and took to social media to express their strong views.
One unimpressed Facebook user wrote: ‘From the water it looks like a North Korea missile bunker. Total eyesore.’
A further critic complained: ‘I don’t mind the house, just its location. It’s not too intrusive from the road but from Saunton beach it’s a total eyesore in my opinion.’
While many feel the building project which got underway in 2014 has taken too long, Edward spoke out addressed the comments.
At the time, he told the North Devon Journal: ‘We can only apologise for the delay in completing the build which we are aware is currently an eyesore.
‘The fencing around the site is stipulated to be there by health and safety and can not be removed, which would also invalidate any insurance.’
‘We are working hard with all involved to finish the build as soon as possible and limited works are taking place.
‘We can only hope for some patience with the complexities of the location.’
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