Inside Grand Designs’ most disastrous ever property branded a ‘carcass’ by host Kevin McCloud as it hits market for £10m

A GRAND Design build which host Kevin McCloud called a "carcass" and cost the owner his marriage has hit the market for a whopping £10million.

Chesil Cliff House and its annexe known as The Eye in North Devon was the brainchild of Edward Short, and it “tore his family apart”. 


Work began on the lighthouse in an episode of the Channel 4 show back in 2010 even though it was originally estimated to take 18 months to build.

The project plunged the family £4million into debt and put an irreparable strain on his marriage to wife Hazel with Ed's downhearted daughters once saying they doubted the lighthouse was “ever going to happen”.

Grand Designs' host Kevin McCloud even called the property "a carcass" and it was like a wreckage on the seashore.

The home features a four-story tower, five bedrooms, four reception rooms, an infinity pool, a sauna and a cellar – alongside with the three-bedroom studio The Eye next door.

Ed and his family were supposed to move into the property in Down End once construction was completed, but the project spiralled out of control and became one of the show's most famous episodes when Ed lost everything.

But now property consultancy Knight Frank has announced the forthcoming launch of the long-awaited property, which was due for completion at the end of 2021, but Covid put yet another delay on the already beleaguered project.

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The estate agent wrote of the property: “Chesil Cliff House is positioned on a three-acre site between surfers’ paradise Saunton Sands backed by the impressive UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Braunton Burrows, and the idyllic cove of Croyde, beyond which sits National Trust-owned Baggy Point. 

“When complete, Chesil Cliff House will be one of the most impressive waterfront homes on the North Devon coast. 

“Not only does the property boast high design and build quality, it also has a south-facing position and an ease of access to the water with a private beach and foreshore.”

Edward commented, “I’ll always be proud to have finished this. I owe it to my family to have a real end result, but the time has come to move on. 

“I will have achieved what I set out to do, never deviating from the plans, and for that I’ll always be proud.”

Christopher Bailey, Head of National Waterfront, Knight Frank, commented, “Chesil Cliff House will be the most significant coastal property to come to the open market in the West Country for many years. 

“It is iconic in the true meaning of the word and there is nothing else to compare it to on the market right now. 

“It certainly sits at the very top of the national coastal waterfront market and I have no doubt it will attract keen interest globally.”

Speaking of arduous build on Grand Designs, Ed told presenter Kevin McCloud: "I have to take it on the chin – my ambitional vanity has probably collapsed the marriage. That's the truth."

He also revealed he needed an extra £2 million to get the project completed.

The lighthouse went on to sit neglected for years before work finally resumed lin 2020.

Ed's story is one that has stuck in Kevin's mind, with him telling Stuff recently: "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."

Last year, Grand Design viewers labelled Edward White’s coastal home as one of the “saddest episodes ever”.

They watched as Edward and Hazel told how they had planned to build a £1.8million pad.

The couple hoped to transform the clifftop home into an incredible white art deco “lighthouse” with a glass edge infinity swimming pool, home cinema, sauna and steam room.

While Edward said it was a “little boy’s dream”, Hazel has slammed it as being a “nightmare” which has driven the couple deep into debt.

The strain of the building since 2011 and Edward being nearly £4million in debt has caused them to split up, and Edward’s downhearted daughters say they doubt the lighthouse is “ever going to happen”.

Locals have now slammed the grey concrete home as an “eyesore” on the stunning coastline, and Edward and Hazel estimate they need a further £2million to finish the project.





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