Grand Designs viewers have blasted the design of a £1.5 million house which they say resembles a business park.
Married couple Sarah and Mike set out to build a farming longhouse in the Derbyshire Dales where they could live alongside each of their parents.
The longhouse is a centuries-old stone concept designed to protect farmers and livestock from the elements.
But after viewers saw this modernised version, they mocked it, saying it was like an ‘office’.
Others said it would be a ‘half mile walk’ to the kitchen while some suggested that the elderly parents didn’t even want to live in it.
In the repeat episode, which originally aired in September, viewers met Mike and Sarah, who were living on a cul-de-sac in Derby when they first embarked on the project.
They explained they had been at a crossroads after both their daughters, Francesca and Isabella, had moved away after graduating.
However, having bought a small farm holding several years earlier and taking on the flock of sheep that came with it, the couple decided it was time to build their own home on the swathe of land.
They said it would also provide a home for Mike’s parents, Jean and Robin, and Sarah’s mother, Sylvia.
While speaking to Kevin, the couple said they had initially paid £250,000 for the land and were looking at an estimated £900,000 to build the house they wanted – adding up to nearly £1.2million in total.
Presenter Kevin McCloud hinted at his scepticism over the idea, saying it was ‘quite romantic in a way’ but adding ‘it’s not an idea you want to repeat in the 21st Century’.
And viewers of the repeat episode also mocked the result.
One wrote: ‘It’s a bit office like’. While another added: ‘Mmm. A house that looks like a business park. Lovely.’
Mike and Sarah built a huge farming longhouse which had an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area
Mike and Sarah were only granted planning permission for the house after applying to build a home of ‘outstanding architectural quality’ – which viewers disputed
Viewers slammed the house built by Mike and Sarah in the Derbyshire Dales on this week’s episode of Grand Designs
The house also contained separate living quarters for Mike’s parents, Jean and Robin, and Sarah’s mother, Sylvia
Viewers of the repeat episode on Twitter were less than impressed, saying it looked like a giant warehouse
The couple had great ambitions at the start of the project.
Using savings and cash from the sale of their cul-de-sac home, they hoped the project would be completed in around a year.
But Sarah also admitted: ‘We were complete novices – we don’t come from farming families or anything.’
And Mike said there was a huge obstacle standing in the way of their vision, as there had previously been 26 planning applications put in to build a residential property on the site – all of which had been rejected.
In order to ensure their planning application was accepted, the couple had to submit plans for a house of ‘exceptional architectural quality’ that could become part of the landscape.
And in 2020, two years after submitting their application, Mike and Sarah were informed it had been accepted.
Explaining the plans for their 500sq m house to Kevin, Mike said: ‘It is a beautiful design.’
The original design included an open plan kitchen, dining and living area, plus an accessible bedroom and bathroom for Mike’s parents.
Sarah and Mike (pictured) revealed at the end of the episode that their project had cost nearly £1.5 million including the £250,000 they had spent on purchasing the land
A year and nine months after they began the project, Kevin went back to visit Sarah and Mike, who were living in the property with their parents
Viewers blasted the design of the house as looking like a ‘Miami mega jail’ or a ‘supermax prison’ seen in US crime documentaries
Inside the house, the vast space included a dining room with a high ceiling that allowed light to come into the living area
Mike and Sarah bought the small farming space several years earlier and, with no prior experience, took on a flock of sheep
Kevin was shown around the almost-finished product by Mike and Sarah in August 2022, one year and nine months after they started building
Some criticised the design for using so much steel when there is a climate crisis. Others just didn’t like the look
Previous viewers of the programme joked that the house looked like it was a cross between a health centre and a primary school
It also included private living quarters for Sylvia on the other side of the porch.
Mike and Sarah also made space within their extravagant design for an orchard and a space to grow fruit and vegetables, as well as plenty of resources for their livestock.
However, when Kevin went back to visit the couple in August 2022, a year and nine months after first meeting them, viewers took to Twitter to express their distaste at the finished product.
After watching the repeat episode, one joked: ‘So it’s half a mile walk to the kitchen now.’
Another wrote: ‘Love the city-dwelling old people who don’t want to live in their son’s dream development in the country.’
A third wrote: ‘Is this the one when you’re upstairs you look outside and instead of seeing the countryside you look at the granny extension roof. Stupid design.’
When the programme was first aired late last year, viewers also criticised it.
One wrote that the building looked like a cross between a primary school and a health centre.
Another wrote that it looked like an Amazon warehouse, while a third added: ‘I want a house that looks like a supermax prison.’
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