Not so Grand Designs! Chequered tales of Kevin McCloud's TV showhomes - from the cave house denied planning to the water tower that wouldn't sell (and there's quite a few on AirBnB)

  • Over the years, Kevin McCloud has featured a number of stunning show homes on Channel 4's Grand Designs
  • But some of the ambitious projects he's covered have not fared so well after the cameras stopped rolling?
  • The Dome House, an eco-lodge in the Lake District, was left to crumble amid an eight-year land dispute
  • The Peckham House, in south London is currently on AirBnB for just £33 a night, based on seven sharing

When the camera stops rolling on Grand Designs, and Kevin McCloud strides away, it's easy to assume the homes featured in the long-running show continue just as they are - domestic temples to architecture.

However, for a selection of the showhomes featured, the journey since they were broadcast to the world has been a more interesting one.?

From the house built in an 800-year-old cave that couldn't get planning permission to the Lake District eco-retreat that had to be refurbished just a few years after it had been finished to exacting standards.

THE DOME HOUSE?

The Dome House in the Lake District, (pictured on the show in 2007) owned by Roger Gaugroker, was heralded by Grand Designs as an eco-friendly retreat but it wasn't actually finished until four years later

The Dome House in the Lake District, (pictured on the show in 2007) owned by Roger Gaugroker, was heralded by Grand Designs as an eco-friendly retreat, but it wasn't actually finished until four years later

Nearly a decade later, the property (pictured here in 2016) wasn't looking quite so pretty. It was eventually sold and has now been refurbished to a high standard

Nearly a decade later, the property (pictured here in 2016) wasn't looking quite so pretty. It was eventually sold and has now been refurbished to a high standard

The Dome House, which cost more than £1million to build, first appeared on Grand Designs in 2007, and was heralded as an eco-friendly retreat located in the Lake District.?

However, it was left to crumble amid an eight-year land dispute with a neighbour who claimed the architect who build the house,?Robert Gaukroger, owed her £55,000.

Photographs of the property in 2016 showed the varnish on the wooden exterior had faded, with the gardens overgrown and the interior stripped of the luxury furnishings which were advertised when the house was being run as a holiday cottage.

It has since been sold and completely refurbished by its new owners, who offer a series of guest suites and apartments for visitors.?

THE PECKHAM HOUSE ?

The Peckham House (pictured as it is today) is now available on Airbnb for £33 a night, based on seven people sharing?

The Peckham House (pictured as it is today) is now available on Airbnb for £33 a night, based on seven people sharing?

Grand Designs presenter McCloud marvelled at how Monty and his wife Claire had managed such a feat - a three-bedroom home - in such a slender spot. The property is pictured here on Grand Designs in 2005

Grand Designs presenter McCloud marvelled at how Monty and his wife Claire had managed such a feat - a three-bedroom home - in such a slender spot. The property is pictured here on Grand Designs in 2005

In South London,?Monty Ravenscroft's The Peckham House proved fascinating to viewers watching the show in 2005.

An ambitious Ravenscroft and his wife Claire squashed an eco-friendly home into the smallest of urban spaces. Costing just £40,000 for the thin slice of urban land, the couple proved triumphant when they unveiled their ultra-modern home to viewers.

Fast-forward 12 years and anyone who admired it back then can actually now stay in the house. Available on Airbnb for just £235 a night, the three-bedroom property sleeps seven people, making it a wallet-friendly £33-a-night.?

THE ROCKHOUSE RETREAT ?

The Rockhouse Retreat in Worcestershire (pictured on the show in 2015) saw an 800-year-old cave excavated to make way for?Angelo Mastropietro's masterpiece - but planning officials eventually deemed it impossible to have a house in a cave

The Rockhouse Retreat in Worcestershire (pictured on the show in 2015) saw an 800-year-old cave excavated to make way for?Angelo Mastropietro's masterpiece - but planning officials eventually deemed it impossible to have a house in a cave

Now also on offer on Airbnb, the property (pictured as it is today) is sold as a unique 'cave dwelling' experience

Now also on offer on Airbnb, the property (pictured as it is today) is sold as a unique 'cave dwelling' experience

Elsewhere, the Rockhouse Retreat, a cave house carved into an 800-year-old rock in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire was dubbed as one of the most exciting properties to ever appear on Grand Designs, when it was featured in 2015.

While Angelo Mastropietro thrilled viewers, he didn't thrill planning officials, who told him that he couldn't build a house in a cave after all.?

It's not all bleak for Mr Mastropietro though, he now rents out the property as a?'one-off cave-house experience' - aka a holiday rental - for people who want to escape from it all.

THE MEDWAY BARGE ?

Chris Miller spent £80,000 making a houseboat with a difference in Kent - but he and his wife?Sze Liu Lai were later criticised after the barge washed up on shore in 2011 (pictured)?

Chris Miller spent £80,000 making a houseboat with a difference in Kent - but he and his wife?Sze Liu Lai were later criticised after the barge washed up on shore in 2011 (pictured)?

The eco-barge (pictured when it was featured on Grand Designs in 2007) had seemed like the perfect way to live by the ocean on a budget?

The eco-barge (pictured when it was featured on Grand Designs in 2007) had seemed like the perfect way to live by the ocean on a budget?

Medway Eco-Barge, a houseboat in Kent designed by Chris Miller and his wife Sze Liu Lai, seemed like the perfect way to live by the ocean on a budget.

The barge was featured on Grand Designs back in 2007, which showed the couple spending £80,000 on the project.?

However, the couple don't now appear to be living on it at all, after?the barge was spotted washing up on an Essex beach in 2011.?

KENNINGTON WATER TOWER

The Kennington Water Tower (pictured during its appearance on Grand Designs in 2012) did not sell in 2013, despite the owners knocking almost £2million off the asking price

The Kennington Water Tower (pictured during its appearance on Grand Designs in 2012) did not sell in 2013, despite the owners knocking almost £2million off the asking price

This nine-storey Victorian water tower in Kennington, south London, was converted into a stunning family home by owners Leigh Osborne and Graham Voce, who appeared on the 100th episode of Grand Designs in 2012.

They?spent almost £2million converting the crumbling ruin, which they bought for £380,000, into a stunning property with panoramic views.

However, when they put the building onto the market in 2013, they were forced to knock?almost £2million from the original asking price of?£4.75million.?

The property is not believed to have been sold, with rooms in the property available on Airbnb for £98 a night.

THE LONGHOUSE

This popular lock-side home in?Kilcreggan, near Glasgow, featured on Grand Designs in 2004. But a decade later, the property (pictured in 2014) was put on the market for £5,000 less than the amount that it had cost them to build it?

This popular lock-side home in?Kilcreggan, near Glasgow, featured on Grand Designs in 2004. But a decade later, the property (pictured in 2014) was put on the market for £5,000 less than the amount that it had cost them to build it?

Couple?Tony and Jo Moffat spent?£380,000 on their dream loch-side home in?Kilcreggan, near Glasgow, back in 2004.

But a decade later, The Longhouse was put on the market for £5,000 less than the amount they had invested in the home.

The couple also suffered?a fairly major setback when the roof of the home blew off during severe gales which battered Scotland in December 2012.?

HELLIFIELD PEEL CASTLE ?

Hellifield Peel Castle, near Skipton, (pictured in 2016) was put on the market for £1.65million last year - but the property remains unsold?

Hellifield Peel Castle, near Skipton, (pictured in 2016) was put on the market for £1.65million last year - but the property remains unsold?

Hellifield Peel Castle, near Skipton, was restored from a ruin?to a stunning seven-bedroom house in 2004, appearing on Grand Designs in 2007.

Its owners later turned the property into a bed and breakfast, before putting it on the market for £1.65million last year.

Despite the interest in the building - which dates back to the Saxon period - it remains unsold, the Telegraph reported.?

THIS YEAR'S WINNER?

Caring Wood, in Kent, pictured, was crowned House of the Year on Tuesday night's episode of Grand Designs. But some viewers accused the property, which can house 15 people, of looking 'ugly' and 'pretentious'

Caring Wood, in Kent, pictured, was crowned House of the Year on Tuesday night's episode of Grand Designs. But some viewers accused the property, which can house 15 people, of looking 'ugly' and 'pretentious'

The winning home?impressed judges with its 'multi-generational living' space. However, some of those watching the show said its pared down interiors were mundane and inspiring

The winning home?impressed judges with its 'multi-generational living' space. However, some of those watching the show said its pared down interiors were mundane and inspiring

Time will tell how Carey Wood, which yesterday scooped the House of the Year 2017 award, will fare.?

The 'oast house on steroids' stands at 13 times the size of an average three-bedroom house, and comes with its own music hall, multi-storey courtyard and underground tunnels.

While it wowed the judges with its space and multi-generational appeal, it was condemned as 'ugly and pretentious' by some viewers.

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