lighthouse-gd

The full story behind the Grand Designs disastrous lighthouse

Get the details behind the famous build 

Emmy Griffiths

The lighthouse that was forced to halt construction is one of the most famous episodes of Grand Designsas the project went well over budget and ended up having to be put on pause. 

READ: Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud talks heart attacks on show

Edward Short and his wife Hazel originally appeared on the architectural show back in 2009 with plans to create a stunning white clifftop lighthouse, but struggled with many building issues and a recession, with the pressure over the building ultimately causing the couple to split. 

Loading the player...

WATCH: Kevin McCloud talks the major mistake everyone makes on Grand Designs

Speaking about the situation, Edward said: “f there is one huge guilt I have over everything, it's the impact on my family. I have to take it on the chin – my... vanity has probably collapsed the marriage. That's the truth.” 

He continued: “These past ten years have been a marathon slog - and I have got used to being a millionaire in debt. I've accepted the only way forward is to finish and sell it. We had to take a few breaks to refinance because it's so expensive, but we got things things moving again last year. It's a big ask but I think we'll see it on the market by the end of the year.”

unfinished-lighthouse-1

The lighthouse is still unfinished

One of the problems included the dangers of constructing the property on a clifftop, and Ed said at the time: “That's a dangerous site for a construction team to work on. I think professional fees are around a quarter of a million, but they will make sure it's done properly.” 

The show’s participant has confirmed that he will have to put the house up for sale to recoup his losses from the building, which has cost over £6million. The end result will see the lighthouse-style home feature an infinity pool, a home cinema and a spa. Updating people on their progress, Ed said: “We're most of the way there with the building work now, and it certainly looks a lot better than it did. We're currently we're putting down underfloor heating, completing the driveway and adding linings to the pool. I have professionals currently designing the interior because you can't take shortcuts on a high-end property like this.”

MORE: Meet Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud's four children

MORE: Why you will never see Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud's own house

However, although the building work has been ten years in the making, Ed is now working on the site again, and told Devon Live: “We have started on remedial works which will continue for a while. Most work I suspect will be next year. Remedial works are repairing any damage caused by the weather. So all wood must be replaced and some windows. Nothing is guaranteed but I hope to finish next year.”

house-fitting

The house has been under construction for ten years

Previously speaking to Stuff about the project that went horribly wrong, the show’s presenter Kevin McCloud said: "That was an amazing story – things just spiralled. Many people reacted to it and thought we were (spinning) a moral tale. But we didn’t set out to push a moral tale. The build was supposed to be a beautiful folly. I already happened to know the architect, and it was a great location with a great group of people. It was all fitting into place. But when it did spiral, it went very badly wrong.” 

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

You're on HELLO!'s global site. Click to return to HELLO! India Go back