Edward Short invited TV crew to see his revamped home but it looked like a Korean missile bunker

Like many {couples}, Edward and Hazel Quick longed to swap the city rat-race for an idyllic life by the ocean, the place they might spend their days inhaling salty air as they watched their younger kids develop up. The brand new dwelling they hankered after, nonetheless, was extra elaborate than most would dare to dream of.

After leaving London in 2004, they borrowed £1.eight million to construct a staggering modernist ‘lighthouse’ at Down Finish Level, a famend magnificence spot in North Devon. The six-bedroom home was to be rendered white to catch the sunshine bouncing off the ocean, its four-storey cylindrical tower that includes a eating room with 9ft-high home windows, main bedroom and observatory.

In the principle physique of the home, to its facet, can be a kitchen with uninterrupted sea views, a visitor wing, sauna and cinema; in entrance, a 60ft glass-edged infinity pool with panoramic views throughout Croyde Bay.

Edward and Hazel Quick (pictured) borrowed £1.8million to construct a modernist ‘lighthouse’ at Down Finish Level in Devon. They have been to create a six-bedroom home for his or her household (pictured with their kids in Devon)

Maybe most spectacular, nonetheless, have been the 25 metal piles that have been going to be drilled deep into the bedrock beneath, to defy coastal erosion, maintain the home in place and current the looks of a ‘floating’ dwelling in years to return.

In different phrases, a really bold mission. However one, as anybody who watched Channel 4’s Grand Designs this week will attest, that has not fairly gone in accordance with plan.

The programme — compelling, if cringeworthy, viewing — charted the Shorts’ wrestle to grasp their goals since 2011. It revealed they’d taken out a sequence of crippling loans that didn’t cowl the extortionate constructing prices, their debt compounded by a second dwelling Edward constructed on the location which he hoped to promote to proceed financing the mission.

Because the Shorts’ daughters, Nicole and Lauren, grew up, and the fear traces turned etched ever deeper on their dad and mom’ faces, each devastating setback solely appeared to make Edward extra decided to pursue his goals.

The upshot? A debilitating £three million price of debt and, two grown-up kids later, the Shorts’ a lot trumpeted new dwelling appears much less like a lighthouse and extra like a ramshackle multi-storey automobile park.

By 2017, the couple had run out of funds and the means to amass extra. Right this moment, Chesil Cliff Home boasts no gently curved whitewashed partitions or glowing azure swimming pool.

It was to be rendered white to catch the light bouncing off the ocean, its four-storey cylindrical tower featuring a dining room with 9ft-high windows, master bedroom and observatory

It was to be rendered white to catch the sunshine bouncing off the ocean, its four-storey cylindrical tower that includes a eating room with 9ft-high home windows, main bedroom and observatory

But the family home ended up looking like a ramshackle multi-storey car park and created £3 million worth of debt

However the household dwelling ended up trying like a ramshackle multi-storey automobile park and created £three million price of debt

The eating room remains to be a breeze-block shell and the general impact, as TV presenter Kevin McCloud, who has adopted the household’s progress, commented despairingly this week, a ‘desolate carcass’.

‘I generally surprise if I may need been a bit bold,’ says Edward, the director of a music firm referred to as the Division of Good Concepts. Fairly.

However it isn’t the truth that the mission has been shelved that bothers him most. Neither is it the grief he’s getting from locals who detest the look of his perennially unfinished mission, which one described as akin to a ‘North Korean missile bunker’.

It’s the destruction of his 20-year marriage. Whereas Edward and daughter Lauren, now 18, appeared on Grand Designs this week, there was no signal of Hazel and the couple’s elder offspring Nicole, 20. Pointing the blame squarely at stress sparked by his lighthouse mission, Edward admitted he and Hazel had separated final yr and mentioned his ‘ambition and self-importance has in all probability collapsed the wedding’.

The ambitious self builder had dreamed of building a white art-deco lighthouse, but ran out of money in summer 2017, when the project halted. He now says the property should be finished in 2020

The bold self builder had dreamed of constructing a white art-deco lighthouse, however ran out of cash in summer time 2017, when the mission halted. He now says the property must be completed in 2020

So what on earth compelled him to maintain going for thus lengthy? And the way does he really feel now the total scale of his failure has been made public?

‘My spouse has been by way of a horrible time. I really feel so dangerous. She didn’t deserve what she’s gone by way of,’ Edward, 50, tells me this week.

It has gone ‘spectacularly mistaken,’ he admits.

Perversely, his emotions of guilt have made him extra decided to plough on so he can lastly afford to purchase Hazel a house match to dwell in: ‘My greatest motivation is to get out of this and purchase her a pleasant home.’

Whereas many would possibly query Edward’s sanity in striving to finish the mission, prone to price one other £2 million, the reality is he has little alternative. He can’t get the value he wants from the sale of his second dwelling he has constructed till the lighthouse is completed, as a result of health-and-safety rules forestall any potential proprietor from transferring in completely.

He’s, he laments, ‘trapped’ with no choice however to borrow extra: ‘I’ll lose every thing if I don’t, so I would as properly.’

An affable man who made his title launching a string of Nineties dance music compilation CDs, Edward speaks candidly about his unenviable predicament.

He received’t be drawn into particulars of how he and Hazel, each now renting property in close by Bideford, cut up final yr, however concedes he ‘by no means would have began’ constructing the lighthouse if he thought it will put his marriage in danger.

Hazel said the couple's money was completely 'gambled' and if she thought about the mounting debt, she would not be able to get any sleep

Hazel mentioned the couple’s cash was utterly ‘gambled’ and if she thought in regards to the mounting debt, she wouldn’t have the ability to get any sleep

The house was described as 'a skeleton' on Grand Designs, but Edward insisted he wanted to finish the home. Edward said: 'We all have dreams and don’t often act on one of them. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who tries to make it happen'

The home was described as ‘a skeleton’ on Grand Designs, however Edward insisted he wished to complete the house. Edward mentioned: ‘All of us have goals and don’t usually act on one among them. Sadly, I’m a type of individuals who tries to make it occur’

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

An artist’s impression of their dream dwelling with a 4 storey commentary tower and a glass- fronted infinity pool 

The 2 are nonetheless on amicable phrases and watched Grand Designs this week with their daughters — an expertise Edward describes as ‘emotional’, including: ‘We wouldn’t get again collectively, however she’s the mom of my kids so I’m at all times going to be protecting and do what I can for her.’

Nicole and Lauren have been each below 5 when the household moved to Devon from London in 2004.

Enticed by the very best seashores in England, Edward was capable of proceed his music profession from the South-West and Hazel give up her job as a retail purchaser within the capital to convey up the kids. Shortly after their arrival, the location went on sale. Edward admits ‘ambition took over’ as they scrabbled financial savings and borrowed sufficient to pay £1.Four million for the prevailing property on it — an unremarkable yellow fronted 1950s dwelling — and raised an additional £1.eight million to construct their lighthouse.

Apparently rueing his compulsive behaviour, he provides that ‘all of us have goals and don’t usually act on one among them. Sadly, I’m a type of individuals who tries to make it occur. Very early on I assumed it will be so cool to knock it down and construct a lighthouse, in a rocky space the place ships would have gone to floor. I knew the planners would really like it.’

Approval was granted in 2010. Edward let Grand Designs cowl the mission as an ‘insurance coverage coverage’ to doc the way it was constructed to future consumers and deployed architect Alan Phillips to show the inconvenient indisputable fact that coastal erosion put the location at risk of crumbling into the ocean into an unlikely plus.

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

Regardless of the state of the desolate constructing after a decade of growth, Edward mentioned he could not cease making an attempt to complete the lighthouse 

In keeping with Phillips, the completed article might look ‘gorgeous.’ With as much as 25 piles (metal poles hammered as much as 25 metres into the bedrock), he mentioned: ‘The entire of the cliff face could possibly be washed away, till we get to simply uncooked rock, and the home would simply be floating excessive of it — however utterly steady.’

But it was, with hindsight, maybe laughably naïve for Edward to anticipate the mission to take simply 18 months to finish — not least as a result of an impending recession in 2012 prompted chilly ft from the financial institution, which withdrew its lending provide.

Packing containers have been unpacked, two ‘gutted’ daughters knowledgeable and the mission placed on maintain as Edward tried to safe funds elsewhere. In 2014, he borrowed £500,000 from a hedge fund, his intention to make use of the cash to construct a three-bedroom dwelling on the location and promote it for £2.5 million to boost money for the lighthouse.

By 2016, his already huge danger had grown even higher with rising constructing prices. Edward wanted extra money than the sale of the second dwelling might present, and borrowed an additional £2.5 million from non-public buyers.

When Grand Designs returned that yr to movie an replace, viewers might already see the strains on the wedding, with Hazel’s warning at odds together with her husband’s unassailable optimism.

Hazel admitted that if she considered their mounting debt an excessive amount of she wouldn’t sleep. ‘We’ve been pressured right into a nook. All our cash’s gone. It’s all gambled,’ a decidedly nervous-looking Hazel mentioned. And whereas Edward described dwelling within the lighthouse as a ‘dream’, Hazel remarked that it was a ‘nightmare in the mean time’.

Right this moment, Edward admits he was hooked on discovering cash: ‘When you’ve began, it’s laborious to alter. We have been on a curler coaster.’

He claims his spouse by no means begged him to cease. ‘I’d say she was very supportive,’ he says, her religion stemming partly from the quarter of one million kilos they forked out on professionals to advise them: ‘We have been fairly assured of the construct and the panorama.’

But his unbridled optimism backfired. After their present home was lastly demolished in 2016, and the household had moved into rented lodging, it transpired that excavating to the bedrock to put the lighthouse foundations was tantamount to drilling wooden with candyfloss. Or, as one shocked workman put it: ‘I’ve pushed a digger for ten years and it’s the toughest rock I’ve ever seen.’

The method added six months to the schedule and an additional £1 million to prices. ‘I by no means examined how laborious the rock was. I by no means considered that,’ Edward tells me, laughing on the irony that the concrete his builders have been pouring again in was not as laborious because the rock they have been taking out.

Admittedly, the ‘floating’ drive resulting in the property — suspended between 25ft and 40ft off the bottom and requiring 5 lorryfuls of concrete — wasn’t low cost both. ‘It was costed at £100,000 and got here in at 1 / 4 of one million,’ says Edward, who nonetheless appears shocked by how issues turned out and insists he was ‘so properly prepped.’

The super-strength glazing required to outlive sea gales price an additional £200,000, whereas the curved partitions of the lighthouse have been extremely troublesome to assemble from breeze blocks. One of many crane operators tasked with establishing the £150,000 round metal body described it as a ‘bit like threading the attention of a needle’.

No less than the couple’s daughters appeared dedicated to the world when, as youngsters, they have been proven on TV leaping wet-suited with their dad and mom into the close by sea, throughout a quick respite from the ‘scary’ mounting debt. ‘After we all come down right here we’re identical to little youngsters once more,’ mentioned Hazel. By Might 2017, nonetheless, the household had used up the final of their mortgage. To hold on with the constructing, they needed to promote the second dwelling for not less than £2 million. But the unfavourable impression of the continuing constructing work would cut back the asking worth. It was, Edward mentioned, a ‘horrendous Catch-22’.

In July 2017, constructing floor to halt, with Edward describing the months that adopted as ‘a low level’, however insisting he couldn’t ‘come this far and quit’.

When Grand Designs contacted him this yr to movie the subsequent instalment of the mission he was stunned. ‘I assumed they might need to wait till it was finished,’ says Edward.

Maybe they’d an inkling it’d by no means be completed. Final month, McCloud witnessed the ‘naked bones of a home’, with ‘please end’ graffitied by an unknown artist on a wall, the gray concrete cylindrical form marring the Devon coast.

Even Edward described it as an eyesore, however provides, defensively: ‘I hope folks will wait and choose when it’s finished fairly than as a half-finished constructing web site with a horrendous fence spherical it.’ And it will likely be finished, he insists: ‘I can’t go away a legacy like that, and the hate that individuals have.’

Daughter Lauren admitted to digicam she ‘didn’t assume it will be this troublesome,’ however not less than she agreed to seem on the programme. Nicole, notably, didn’t, and is, maybe, as perturbed by the predicament as her mom.

Edward is now pinning his hopes on new funding and insists the lighthouse can be accomplished in August 2020, and put available on the market to recoup his money owed. He says Hazel, now an workplace administrator who declined to debate the mission with the Mail, helps his plan, as ‘the one course obtainable to us’.

And fuelled by loyalty to the lady he misplaced to his ambition, he provides: ‘I’m vastly pushed to get that stability — a household dwelling for her and the women.’

Grand Designs, Wednesdays, 9pm, Channel 4.