Kevin stars in TV story of his own grand design
KEVIN Mccloud has reported on many Grand Designs over the last decade but in this two-part documentary we see him create his own.
His plan was to prove to developers that you can build beautiful, contemporary, affordable, sustainable homes and still make money.
They’ll be rubbing their hands in glee as they see him come up against a host of challenges. For a start it took much longer than he anticipated, a full five years, thanks to stumbling blocks that included NIMBYS and the recession.
The first problem he has is finding a suitable site, which he eventually locates in Swindon, an area in need of affordable housing.
“This has not been the easiest thing for me,” says Kevin. “I’m normally part of television making, not its subject, and I’ve found the change of roles it will be years in court before he can build.
He can’t afford to wait. Kevin’s partner, a housing association, come to the rescue with a small piece of land called The Triangle in Swindon. It’s two-and-a-half acres, a former caravan park, and has outline planning permission for 31 houses to be built on it.
Kevin and his team decide they will need to build 42 to break even. That means they will need to re-apply for planning permission, which comes through in October 2009.
New methods of construction using hempcrete prove problematic when the coldest winter for a century hits, but there is a happy ending and some interesting design ideas aimed at bringing the new community together.
This programme is a must-see for property lovers, would-be self-builders and anyone who has waged war with planners.
Kevin Mccloud turns developer with his Triangle project in Swindon and finds it’s not easy.