TV property expert Kevin McCloud wants to raise £50million to build 600 ‘beautiful and sustainable’ homes a year to challenge identikit developers.
The 58-year-old Grand Designs host is hoping for the cash to buy land and start building houses mostly in South West England that will be ‘a pleasure to live in’.
McCloud wants a tenfold increase in development, with him having so far behind several small projects of 42 homes in Swindon, 78 in Stroud and 50 in Winchester.
TV property expert Kevin McCloud (pictured) wants to raise £50million to buy land and start building houses mostly in South West England that will be ‘a pleasure to live in’
The designer has plans to develop 675 properties around Bristol, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire worth a total of £170million, reported The Guardian.
He told its money editor Patrick Collinson: ‘I sincerely believe grand designs are not the preserve of the one-off or that you have to use straw bales in their construction.
‘The challenge of the next 30 years is for us to build new, and retro-fit old, homes in a socially and environmentally responsible way. We can only do that with critical mass.’
McCloud, who lives in an Elizabethan farmhouse with his 55-year-old wife Suzanna, said his schemes will all include social housing and have shared social spaces.
The first project to benefit from the money will be Elderberry Walk in Southmead, Bristol
The father-of-two added that he had learnt from his small-scale developments built so far that it was important to have ‘professional management and keep it modest’.
The first project to benefit from the cash will be Elderberry Walk in Southmead, Bristol, a collection of 150 properties which is due to be completed by 2019.
His company HAB (Happiness, Architecture, Beauty) is raising the money through a bond for private investors promising a 4.8 per cent annual return over five years.
Two years ago, one of McCloud’s eco developments was plagued with a series of building blunders including damp, draughts and problems with the gas supply.
The 78 properties in Stroud, Gloucestershire, quickly sold out as buyers snapped up the state-of-the-art homes, but they reported a string of complaints.
The Bristol development is a collection of 150 properties which is due to be completed by 2019
Several residents were forced to move out of their houses for up to three weeks and put their belongings into storage, while extensive repairs were carried out.
HAB said at the time that it had ‘clearly been a very frustrating time for the residents and we’re sorry that their experience has not been as good as it should have been’.
In March 2011 former housing minister Grant Shapps told house builders to ‘think outside the identikit Legoland box’ and ensure their properties reflect the local area.
He wrote to the Design Council to complain that England’s suburbs had become dominated by homes that could be anywhere in the country
Mr Shapps said at the time: ‘Too often new developments are dominated by the same, identikit designs that bear no resemblance to the character of the local area.’