Kevin stars in TV story of his own grand de­sign

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Chan­nel 4, Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 8 at 8pm.

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.


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