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 collapsed dramatically.
Edward Short, whose desperate struggle to build and then sell his house on the Devon coast saw his marriage collapse and at one point leave him £7 million in debt, is now facing fresh heartbreak after the buyer he thought that he would finally take it off his hands, from the sale last week.
The striking cliff-top estate has received national attention since it was the subject of a special hour-long Channel Four show.
A local property developer said today: ‘This must be a real blow to Edward as he thought he was finally out of it – he must be devastated.’
A father of two, 52-year-old Edward spent ten years building the property on the rugged North Devon coast with ambitious plans to transform his family’s 1950s home.
Edward Short, whose desperate struggle to build and then sell his house on the Devon coast saw his marriage collapse, at one point leaving him £7 million in debt
Music industry executive Edward Short spent £10 million building his lighthouse in Devon. A decade later, the impressive building is finally finished
Ed daughters, Lauren (right), 24, and Nicole (left), 22, pictured with their mother Hazel (center)
Edward demolished the family’s 1950s home to realize his Art Deco white lighthouse. The site of the project pictured in 2012
It was shown on Channel 4’s Grand Designs in October 2019, and was described by many viewers as the “saddest episode ever” after the music industry executive revealed that the coming of the recession, construction issues and the end of his marriage to his wife Hazel had disappeared. him on the verge of bankruptcy and his dream in tatters.
Edward had hoped to finalize and withdraw the draft, but with costs rising he was forced to put the properties up for sale in hopes of a £4 million profit.
In February, the Chesil Cliff House property in Croyde was finally taken off the market by estate agent Knight Frank, who had been marketing the property and annex, known as The Eye, since last July.
At the end of last month, Edward told friends that the sale was “not over yet, but very close.”
But now sales at the eleventh hour are believed to have fallen off dramatically — and Agents Knight Frank are planning to remarket Chesil Cliff and The Eye in the coming weeks.
The £10m price tag for both combined will remain, but in a new scheme to attract buyers they will also offer the properties separately with Chesil Cliff priced at £7.5m and The Eye at £2.5m.
In February, Knight Frank confirmed they had a ‘serious buyer’ who discussed the ‘terms of sale’ and had removed the property from the open market and its website.
According to locals in Croyde, previous interested parties were contacted again before the brokers put them back on the open market.
The extraordinary Chesil Cliff House in Croyde, Devon, overlooks the sea
Sleek and sophisticated: just one of the beautiful living rooms in Edward’s Lighthouse
One said: “It’s so sad for Edward that the sale fell through after all he’s been through.
“Nobody knows the reason for the collapse, but it’s Croyde’s talk.
“The lighthouse has become so famous now that we have people from all over the country driving down to see it along the coast road.
“It just seems cursed.”
At one point, pop star Harry Styles was rumored to be interested in buying the lighthouse, but reports were later denied.
Multi-millionaire martial arts businessman Matt Fiddes also reportedly made a £7.5 million bid last September.
He planned to convert Chesil Cliff House into 12 luxury apartments, but that also came 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 calling it an ‘eyesore’ and a ‘waste of money’ as even the daughters of the owner confessed that they were ‘over’ the project.
Edward previously revealed that he had no choice but to sell the house to cover the large amount he had to borrow during the project.
The music industry executive admitted that the grueling construction 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 put himself in debt to complete the project, but to no avail.
The stunning Art Deco property – which took 10 years and £10 million to build – boasts six bedrooms
The family home is filled with glass panels to give it a light and spacious feel and has been luxuriously treated by an interior designer
Edward has not responded to approaches for comment, but in a recent interview he said: “The last ten years have been a marathon slog – and I’ve gotten used to being a millionaire in debt. I’ve accepted that the only way forward is to finish it and sell it.
“I had no idea it would end up costing so much, but I have now accepted that I will never be able to live in it because I have money to pay back.
“It was my overconfidence and arrogance that got me here in the first place, so I do what I have to do.”
When it first hit the market, Knight Frank said they expected “worldwide interest” in the sale.
Chesil Cliff consists of five bedrooms and bathrooms, four reception rooms, a sauna and a basement plus swimming pool.
The Eye is a three bedroom studio with a double garage.
The house’s unique location on Down End Point, Devon offers panoramic views across Croyde Bay to the north and towards Saunton and Braunton Burrows beach to the south.