Grand Designs star who built £10m cursed lighthouse that ended his marriage and ‘traumatised’ his daughters claims it’s caught the eye of Harry Styles and Michael Jackson’s former bodyguard

  • The cursed Grand Designs lighthouse has reportedly attracted interest from superstar Harry Styles 
  • Owner Edward Short said Michael Jackson’s former bodyguard also expressed interest but was a ‘time waster’
  • The nightmarish project went over budget, cost Short his marriage and blew out beyond its build timeframe
  • It’s now hit the market for £10 million, but it may be ‘a while’ until the property is actually sold 

It once earned the reputation of Britain’s ‘saddest ever’ Grand Designs project, but the cursed lighthouse has now reportedly caught the eye of stars, including Harry Styles and Michael Jackson’s former bodyguard.

Chesil Cliff House and its annex, known as The Eye, in Croyde, North Devon became a ‘nightmare’ for Grand Designs star Edward Short, ending his marriage after 12 years and plunging his family into debt.

After more than a decade of hard work, the project has finally morphed into a luxurious coastal home, boasting an infinity pool and endless views of the sea.

The unique location at Down End Point boasts panoramic views across Croyde Bay to the north as well as to Saunton beach and Braunton Burrows in the south. 

Mr Short claims the property – which is on the market for £10 million – has attracted interest from the likes of superstar performer Styles and Matt Fiddes, 45, an entrepreneur who is better known for being Jackson’s former bodyguard for a year before his death in 2009.

This week, Grand Design viewers watched Mr Short return to the home he once called a ‘carcass’ on the seashore.

Edward Short pictured outside his dream home, Chesil Cliff House in Devon, with his fiancée Julie Nambassa. The home, which took 12 years to build, is now being sold for £10 million

Michael Jackson’s former body guard Matt Fiddes stood outside the Devon home. Mr Fiddes, who owns a multi-million-pound Martial Arts firm, wanted to convert the sprawling coastal home into 12 flats. The owner, Edward Short, however, called him a ‘timewaster’

 Harry Styles has been approached for a comment after Mr Short claimed the superstar had expressed interest in the home

The build went over budget and took years longer than initially anticipated due to a series of unfortunate setbacks

Music industry executive Mr Short told The Sun both Styles and Mr Fiddes had shown interest in the ‘Greek styled’ home.

The father-of-two, who ended his marriage with his wife Hazel because of the stress of the project, called Mr Fiddes a ‘time-waster’.

His own daughters Lauren, 24, and Nicole, 22, admitted there had been times where even they were ‘over’ the project. 

Mr Short told the publication: ‘We were approached by a buying agent who said they represented Harry’s family. His family were interested in it and it was Harry’s money – but that’s been it. That’s the only fact I know.

‘I read that he has said he’s interested in buying a house in North Devon for £10million. I don’t think there’s anything in it. I mean, he would have bought it by now if he was buying it.’

Harry Styles’ representatives have been approached for comment on the allegations. 

In September Mr Fiddes, who owns a multi-million-pound Martial Arts school, told MailOnline he had put in a £7.5 million bid to buy the art-deco lighthouse.

The former bodyguard, who grew up in Devon, said: ‘Edward won’t like my idea of turning his life’s work into flats but if he hangs onto the property any longer finding a buyer who will meet his asking price will be almost impossible.’

A graffitied message which read ‘please finish’ was left for Mr Short on the property’s walls during the build

In September Mr Fiddes, who owns a multi-million-pound Martial Arts school, told MailOnline he had put in a £7.5 million bid to buy the art-deco lighthouse

Mr Short said the Martial Arts guru was not ‘serious at all’ about buying the property, claiming he had not considered planning restrictions

He wanted to convert Chesil Cliff House into 12 luxury flats after he and his wife Monique had a full tour of the property.

But Mr Short said the Martial Arts guru was not ‘serious at all’ about buying the property, claiming he had not considered planning restrictions.

He added: ‘ I think the only timewaster who got through our estate agent’s vetting was Matt.

‘I don’t think he was serious at all. You can’t turn it into apartments for starters – in planning, you’d never have a chance.’

There is a serious contender for the renowned Grand Designs four-storey home, which boasts five bedrooms, four receptions rooms and a sauna.

Mr Short said a husband and wife, who he believes are Russian, like the property but are ‘nervous about the local reaction’.

But he admitted it will likely ‘be a while’ before the property is actually sold. He hopes to have a sale finalised by the end of the year. 

Mr Short insists there is a serious contender for the renowned Grand Designs four-storey home, which boasts five bedrooms, four receptions rooms and a sauna

When he started the project, Mr Short hoped it would be completed within 18 months at a cost of £2.5 million. He admitted he was upset he would never have ‘the chance of living’ in his dream home

When he started the project, Mr Short hoped it would be completed within 18 months at a cost of £2.5 million. He admitted he was upset he would never have ‘the chance of living’ in his dream home.

In a 2019 episode of Grand Designs Mr Short explained he had long dreamed of building a lighthouse on the cliff as a home for his family – but said several factors got in the way.

He told Grand Designs’ host Kevin the project had become a nightmare, saying: ‘Terrifying is an adjective that doesn’t really sum it up if I’m honest.’ 

Setbacks included the 2011 financial crisis which prompted funds to be withdrawn, granite bedrock that took 18 months to drill into – 12 months longer than anticipated – and then Covid halting progress.

When one lender pulled out in 2018, the house was left derelict, looking more like an abandoned multi-storey car park than millionaire’s paradise. Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, visiting in 2019, described it as a ‘desolate carcass’ — on which one irritated local had graffitied the plea: ‘Please finish’. 

Mr Short said his fashion buyer ex-wife picked up work as a cleaner in order to fund the £7 million build and that the financial strain had an impact on their marriage.

In a newspaper interview he revealed: ‘Hazel supported me and did amazing things to try to keep things going here, learning accountancy and doing holiday-let cleaning.

Setbacks included the 2011 financial crisis which prompted funds to be withdrawn, granite bedrock that took 18 months to drill into – 12 months longer than anticipated – and then Covid halting progress

‘She was very successful, working as a fashion buyer for Harrods, Selfridges and Simpsons, so to get to this age and have nothing is hard.’

And while he said the breakdown of his 20-year marriage was not entirely due to the stress caused by the build, he explained he would ‘always carry a sense of guilt’ for what he ‘put Hazel through’.

He added: ‘It was awful for the family because I pulled the stability rug from under them, without being able to give answers of how we were going to get out of it, other than that I had to carry on.’

Elsewhere, he explained he plans to marry his fiancée Jalia Nambasa, whom he met through online dating, next summer.

The couple are currently living at her house in Bath, but he hopes to buy another property near Devon for the family to enjoy.

Mr Short and his ex-wife planned to build the luxury home, comprised of a huge circular tower and spectacular glass-edge infinity pool, in just 18 months.



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