Lighthouse-inspired home on Grand Designs is going on sale for £10M

Lighthouse-inspired home on Grand Designs which cost the owner his marriage and £6million during decade-long project is FINALLY going on the market for £10million

  • Edward Short, 50, from Devon, dreamed of building a white art-deco lighthouse which he planned in 2010 
  • He and wife Hazel started the build in 2012 but the home turned into a nightmare as it proved difficult to finish 
  • Their marriage collapsed as a result of the strains of the build, which appeared on Grand Designs in 2019

A lighthouse-inspired home which appeared on the ‘saddest ever’ Grand Designs and cost the owner his marriage is nearing completion – and has gone on the market for £10million.

Edward Short, 52, is finally ready to sell the extraordinary Chesil Cliff House, in Croyde, Devon, after spending a decade and £6million on the ambitious project which saw him transform his family’s 1950s home into an art-deco white lighthouse.

It featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs in October 2019, and was described as the ‘saddest episode ever’ by many viewers after the music industry executive revealed that the arrival of the recession, building issues and the end of his marriage to wife Hazel had left his dream in tatters.

Father-of-two Edward remained adamant he would finish the design – yet his dream of an idyllic existence in the stunning cliff-top home in one of Devon’s most picturesque coastal locations was dashed and he admitted earlier this year he would be forced to sell it in the hopes of a £4million profit once it was completed at the end of 2021.


A lighthouse-inspired home (pictured) which appeared on the ‘saddest ever’ Grand Designs and cost the owner his marriage is nearing completion – and has gone on the market for £10million

The luxury home once finished was planned to feature a huge circular tower based on a lighthouse design along with a spectacular ‘glass edge’ infinity swimming pool, a home cinema and a sauna and steam room (pictured)

Edward Short (pictured), 52, is finally ready to sell the extraordinary Chesil Cliff House, in Croyde, Devon, after spending a decade and £6million on the ambitious project which saw him transform his family’s 1950s home into an art-deco white lighthouse


The home (pictured left in 2021, and right in 2019)  featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs in October 2019, and was described as the ‘saddest episode ever’ by many viewers after the music industry executive revealed that the arrival of the recession, building issues and the end of his marriage to wife Hazel had left his dream in tatters

Father-of-two Edward remained adamant he would finish the design – yet his dream of an idyllic existence in the stunning cliff-top home (pictured during the build) in one of Devon’s most picturesque coastal locations was dashed and he admitted earlier this year he would be forced to sell it in the hopes of a £4million profit once it was completed at the end of 2021

Property consultancy Knight Frank has announced the launch of the sale of the main house (pictured during the build) and its annex known as The Eye, with a guide price of £10million for when the property is completed and put on the market later this year

Speaking today, Edward said the time was right to move on, adding: ‘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.’ Pictured, the house before completion

Property consultancy Knight Frank has announced the launch of the sale of the main house and its annex known as The Eye, with a guide price of £10million for when the property is completed and put on the market later this year. 

Speaking today, Edward said the time was right to move on, adding: ‘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.’

From £6million debt to a wrecked marriage: Timeline of how Chesil Cliff House went from home of dreams to a nightmare 

2010:  Edward and his wife Hazel appear on Grand Designs to reveal their plan to turn their 1950s home into an art-deco white lighthouse in 18 months. Plans for the development were submitted and approved but several delays ensued. 

2012: Spiralling costs and the financial crisis puts the project on hold. 

2014: Building work finally gets underway, but is hit by delays due to the weather and financial woes.

2016: Edward secures a loan for more than £2million from private investors 

2017: Project is halted again after the pair run out of money.  

2018: Couple apologise to local residends who complain the unfinished building is an eyesore

2019:  Edward appears on Grand Designs again, admitting that only a few rooms have been finished and that his marriage to Hazel has collapsed under the strain

2021: Building work has started again at the property and Edward says he hopes it will be finished by the end of the year

The 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.

It has been anchored into the bed rock of the cliff, painstakingly engineered to a level that leaves no possibility for erosion hazards.

The agents described the property as one of the most impressive waterfront homes around and said they expected ‘global interest’ in the sale.

It will comprise of five bedrooms and bathrooms, four reception rooms, a sauna and a cellar. The property will also include the three-bedroom studio annex known as The Eye and a double garage.

Although Chesil Cliff House won’t launch to the open market until later this year, potential buyers can now register their interest through Knight Frank.

Edward said he had no option but to sell the home to cover the large amount of money he had to borrow during the project, explaining that total costs were set to reach £6million.  

He added: ‘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.

‘I had no idea it would end up costing so much but I’ve accepted now that I’m never going to be able to live in it because I have money I need to pay back. It was my overconfidence and arrogance that got me here in the first place so I’m doing what I need to do.

‘Even though I’ll be selling it, I’m still finding it so exciting to see this concrete skeleton finally coming together into a beautiful building.’

Edward previously apologised to locals who he said were fed up of seeing the unfinished grey eyesore on the point, but also asked them to ‘stick with it’.

He had told them: ‘I know it’s a mess, and I have to fix that – but when it is finished it will be amazing. Judge it when it’s finished.’

Christopher Bailey, Head of Waterfront at Knight Frank, said they expected significant interest in the home.

He added: ‘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.’ 

The house (pictured) 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

Although Chesil Cliff House (pictured) won’t launch to the open market until later this year, potential buyers can now register their interest through Knight Frank

Edward previously apologised to locals who he said were fed up of seeing the unfinished grey eyesore (pictured) on the point, but also asked them to ‘stick with it’

Edward initially appeared on Grand Designs in 2010 with his wife Hazel and their family (pictured) when they described  their ‘dream’ of building their lighthouse home

In a 2019 episode of Grand Designs, Edward explained that he’d long dreamed of building a lighthouse on the cliff – but said several factors got in the way. 

‘I always looked at it and thought it would be so cool to knock it down and build a lighthouse,’ said Edward, speaking of how he decided to revamp their existing property. 

‘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.’ 

The couple planned to build the luxury home, comprised of a huge circular tower and spectacular glass-edge infinity pool, in just 18 months. 

The couple, who lived in a fairly modest house on the clifftop (pictured) before they started the build, explained they wanted a house which would do the site ‘justice’ 

The couple said they planned to tear down their family home and build an enormous lighthouse in it’s place, costing £2.2 million and taking 18 months  

An artist’s impression of their dream home with a four storey observation tower and a glass- fronted infinity pool 

The six-bedroom house, which they hoped would also feature a home cinema, a sauna and steam room, would boast panoramic views across Croyde Bay to the north, as well as to Saunton beach and Braunton Burrows to the south.  

They hoped it would cost £2.2 million, but it quickly became apparent the build was near-impossible to complete. The house required complex engineering, with the couple sinking 25 ‘anchors’ into the rock in order to support the home. 

But by February 2012, the financial collapse meant they had to put plans on hold and they started to build a smaller building further along the coastline which they nicknamed the ‘eye’.

The challenges of the build quickly became evident, with the couple struggling to stay within their budget or on deadline 

Hazel described the project as ‘scary’ and she worried at night about whether they’d have to sell the whole thing 

When Kevin returned to the house in 2019, he found the property was a building site, and called it ‘a skeleton’ 

In February 2016, Edwards secured a loan of £2.5million from private investors, which he admitted he was depending on to finish the build.

He told Grand Designs’ host Kevin the project had become a nightmare, saying: ‘Terrifying is an adjective that doesn’t really sum it up if I’m honest.’ 

When Kevin asked if he could have compromised, Edward said: ‘You are right but the concept is very difficult to walk away from. No to compromise. To owe over £2million now is scary you think “Christ this is mounting up”.’ With the financial pressure growing, Hazel said she was becoming increasingly worried.

She said: ‘Worse case scenario is we will have to sell the whole thing. Yes, that’s a scary thing and yes, that keeps me up at night.’ 

With debts of over three million, the couple were trapped by the thought that if they were to finish the project, it could end up selling for £7million.   But when Kevin returned to the property in 2019, he found it was still unfinished. The presenter described it as ‘the bare bones of a house and more like a desolate carcass’. 

At the time, Edward said he hoped he could continue building the home, adding that he thought it would take £2 million to finish the property 

Despite the state of the desolate building after a decade of development, Edward said he couldn’t stop trying to finish the lighthouse 

He went on to say: ‘It’s a little bit like finding the wreckage of a building on a seashore’. 

Edward said: ‘I’ve had better days I must admit. It all came to a halt in June, July 2017. I ran out of money.’  

He revealed: ‘A bit of an eyesore is the feeling at the moment. I sometimes wonder if I might have been too ambitious. There’s what I want, and there’s reality.’ 

At the time, he told Kevin his marriage had collapsed due to the strain, insisted he would still try to finish the building. 

He said: ‘I don’t have the option of not finishing. To finish it may take over £2 million.

The house was described as ‘a skeleton’ on Grand Designs in 2019, but Edward insisted he wanted to finish the home 

‘This is a beast, this is a baby that is so hungry it will eat me. It’s that savage now. The end-game could still be bankruptcy. If there is one huge guilt I have over everything, it’s the impact on my family.’ 

He said the build had destroyed his marriage, saying: ‘We parted properly last year.  I put her through a horrendous time with this, knocking the family home down, putting all our money into it, no one has any idea what the outcome is. 

‘It doesn’t get much worse than that. I have to take it on the chin – my ambitional vanity has probably collapsed the marriage. That’s the truth.’

At the time, viewers were shocked by Edward’s attitude, with one writing: ‘Christ, a perfectly good home demolished, a beautiful cliff destroyed, family life in ruins, and divorce. Has there ever been a more tragic Grand Designs?’

Another added: ‘I never want to wish ill on anyone but I’ve never wanted anyone to fail more than this greedy, entitled family.’ A third said: ‘Honestly this couple on #GrandDesigns go bankrupt I won’t even feel bad for them. This is potentially the most irresponsible and greedy build I’ve ever seen.’ 

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