‘In five years we’ve only had one view­ing’

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

would look out of place, though, is next door to the coun­cil tip, on a by­pass near Bishop Auck­land – which is where it is. The house has 38 rooms, self-tan­ning show­ers, a bar big enough for 50 peo­ple, an in­door pool and Jacuzzi, and its own wind tur­bine. And it could be all yours for just £3.65mil­lion.

Tin­dale Tow­ers is the home and vi­sion of County Durham fur­ni­ture mag­nates Mike and Jules Keen. But with the cou­ple’s chil­dren hav­ing now left home, they are look­ing to free up cap­i­tal to in­vest in their busi­ness, so in May 2011 they de­cided that it was time to move on. But they’re still there.

“We didn’t think about the long term,” says Mike, who is sell­ing it through Ge­orge F White. “We’re from the area and work in the area. I didn’t build it for any­one else, I didn’t think about what would hap­pen when the time came to down­size. In four or five years we’ve only had one view­ing – some bloke who turned up in an an­cient Corsa and just wanted to be nosy. It’s not go­ing to be pos­si­ble to sell it. We’ll need to find a lot­tery win­ner or rock star who comes from Bishop Auck­land.”

Kevin McCloud is less pes­simistic and, as the pre­sen­ter of Grand De­signs, he has seen more than his fair share of what he calls “idio­syn­cratic homes that re­flect the per­son­al­i­ties of the peo­ple who built them”.

“I’ve been ask­ing the ques­tion for years, but the truth is that they do sell be­cause there will al­ways be buy­ers for qual­ity, con­tem­po­rary homes de­signed by qual­ity ar­chi­tects,” he says. “They won’t sell straight away. And, of course, a house with a re­volv­ing kitchen or a he­li­pad on the roof will take longer to sell, but if you make a house that is well-crafted and well-de­signed, there will be a mar­ket. The house that won’t sell is the one that’s bland.”

That’s a sen­ti­ment shared by Rus­sell Har­ris, whose Cheshire home fea­tured

Tin­dale Tow­ers in Bishop Auck­land, Co Durham, has been on the mar­ket since 2011, and is on sale for £3.65 mil­lion

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