Owner who poured millions restoring lighthouse hit by new set back

Curse of the ‘saddest ever’ Grand Designs home: Owner who poured millions into renovating lighthouse is hit by heart-breaking new setback as sale collapses

  • Edward Short was at one point left £7m in debt over his Devon seafront home
  • He now faces fresh heartache despite spending a decade building the property 

The so-called curse of the ‘saddest ever’ episode of TV’s Grand Designs has struck again – after the potential sale of the £10 million art-deco white lighthouse dramatically collapsed.

Edward Short, whose desperate battle to build and then sell his Devon seafront house saw his marriage collapse and left him at one point £7 million in debt now faces fresh heartache after the buyer he thought would finally take it off his hands pulled out of the sale last week.

The striking clifftop property has commanded national attention ever since it was the subject of a one-hour special Channel Four show.

A local property developer said today: ‘This must be a real blow for Edward as he thought he was finally shot of it – he must be devastated.’

Father-of-two Edward, 52, spent a decade building the property on the rugged North Devon coast with ambitious plans to transform his family’s 1950s home.

Edward Short, whose desperate battle to build and then sell his Devon seafront house saw his marriage collapse and left him at one point £7 million in debt 

Music industry executive Edward Short spent £10m building his lighthouse in Devon. A decade later, the impressive build is finally finished 

Ed daughters, Lauren (right), 24, and Nicole (left), 22, pictured with their mother Hazel (middle)

Edward knocked down the family’s 1950s home to make his an art-deco white lighthouse a reality. The site of the project pictured in 2012

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 him on the edge of bankruptcy and his dream in tatters.

Edward had hoped to finish the design and move in but with spiralling costs was forced to put the properties up for sale in the hope of a £4 million profit.

In February, the property Chesil Cliff House in Croyde, was finally taken off the market by estate agents Knight Frank who had been marketing the property and its annex known as The Eye since last July.

As recently as late last month Edward was still telling friends that the sale was ‘still no over the line but very close’.

But now in a hammer blow, the sale is understood to have dramatically fallen through at the eleventh hour – and agents Knight Frank are planning to remarket Chesil Cliff and The Eye in the coming weeks.

The £10 million price tag for both combined will remain but in a new plan to attract buyers they will also offer the properties separately with Chesil Cliff on for £7.5 million and The Eye, £2.5 million.

In February, Knight Frank confirmed they had a ‘serious buyer’ who was discussing the ‘terms of sale’ and had removed the properties from the open market and its website.

According to locals in Croyde previous interested parties have been recontacted before the estate agents put them back on the open market.

The extraordinary Chesil Cliff House, in Croyde, Devon, looks out over the sea

Sleek and sophisticated: just one of the stunning living rooms in Edward’s lighthouse

One said: ”It is so sad for Edward the sale has fallen through after everything he has had to deal with.

“No one knows the reason for the collapse but it is the talk of Croyde.

“The lighthouse has become so famous now we get people from all over the country driving down just to take a look at it along the coast road.

“It just seems jinxed.”

At one point it was rumoured that pop star Harry Styles was interested in buying the lighthouse but reports were later denied.

Multi-millionaire martial arts businessman Matt Fiddes was also reported to have put in a £7.5 million bid last September.

He had planned to convert Chesil Cliff House into 12 luxury flats but again that come to nothing.

Last year Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud revisited the property which cost £7 million to build in a special episode with many viewers branding it an ‘eyesore’ and a ‘waste of money’ as even the owner’s daughters confessed they were ‘over’ the project.

Edward previously revealed he has had no option but to sell the home to cover the large amount of money he had to borrow during the project.

The music industry executive admitted that the grueling build had been a ‘trauma’ for his family. Pictured in October 2022, shortly after the project was finally completed 

When the Grand Designs lighthouse episode aired in 2019, it was unfinished and Edward had put himself in massive debt in order to complete the project, to no avail 

The gorgeous art-deco property – which took 10 years and £10m to build – boasts six bedrooms

The family home is filled with glass panels to give it a bright and spacious feel and has been given a luxurious treatment by an interior designer 

Edward has not responded to approaches for a comment but in recent interview he said said:”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.”

When it first went on the market Knight Frank said they expected ‘global interest’ in the sale.

Chesil Cliff comprises of five bedrooms and bathrooms, four reception rooms, a sauna and a cellar plus swimming pool.

The Eye a three bedroom studio comes with a double garage.

The unique location of the house at Down End Point, Devon boasts panoramic views across Croyde Bay to the north as well as to Saunton beach and Braunton Burrows to the south.

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