The striking four-storey property is situated in a prestigious south London suburb which neighbours have said is a 'blight' on the area

Grand Designs explores nautical homes and upset neighbours

Often, neighbours are thrilled to see houses on the same street being done up in the hope it will make the area more desirable and boost the value of their own property – but that’s not always the case.

Tonight’s episode of Grand Designs: House of the Year, features homes that have a nautical theme running through them, and there is something else these dwellings have in common – the neighbours don’t like any of them.

A ‘spaceship’ jutting out of a prestigious south London suburb, a ‘rusting metal box’ sandwiched between a river and a dual carriageway, and a curved futuristic structure atop the White Cliffs of Dover have been shortlisted for the House of the Year Award by the Royal Institute of British Architects, but haven’t won the same approval from the locals.

The owners of 6 Wood Lane in South London had to spend £30,000 appealing planning consent to build their ship-inspired home that one local resident brands a ‘blight on the neighbourhood’, the show reveals.

A corten steel clad house built on the edge of the River Ouse in North Yorkshire was strongly opposed by one resident who labelled it ‘ugly’ and said it stuck out like a sore thumb.

Even a striking ’30s-inspired seaside home on the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent has ruffled feathers, as one neighbour remarks it doesn’t fit in with the landscape, claiming it should be more English and traditional.

A remote and compact house in Essex named after the redshank bird largely escapes criticism from locals, but one comments that its leggy, birdlike structure makes it look like it is ready to get up and go for a walk.

Each property in the episode has been inspired by water, even if it doesn’t sit right next to the sea or a river, and all have been praised by the RIBA judges for their unique take on the nautical or aquatic theme.

Here, FEMAIL takes a look inside the second crop of contenders, which Kevin McCloud will tour in tonight’s episode…

6 WOOD LANE

The striking four-storey property is situated in a prestigious south London suburb which neighbours have said is a 'blight' on the area

The striking four-storey property is situated in a prestigious south London suburb which neighbours have said is a ‘blight’ on the area

After his ascent to 6 Wood Lane presenter Kevin McCloud was clearly fascinated upon seeing the unique ‘spaceship’ style property for the first time.

He gushed over it, remarking: ‘It stands out like a perfectly executed, sculptural sore thumb.’

And that is exactly how the neighbours of the property, which takes inspiration from a ship, see the house.

It has been ridiculed throughout the 12-year build process. Owners interior designer Sally Cox and architect Mike Russum blame the slow progress on spending two years and £30,000 appealing for planning consent to get the go ahead for the build.

One chap who remains nameless, sang a ditty from Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta ‘Patience’: ”Of course you must poo-poo all the fresh and new and declare it crude and mean for art stopped short of the cultivated court of the empress Josephine’…

Presenter Kevin McCloud visits 6 Wood Lane in Grand Designs House of the Year, taking a look at the ship inspired house with its own bow and hull

Presenter Kevin McCloud visits 6 Wood Lane in Grand Designs House of the Year, taking a look at the ship inspired house with its own bow and hull

‘It really does summarise the reaction of an awful lot of people, that we should have this very original and very imaginative building in Wood Lane.’

He later branded it a ‘blight on the neighbourhood’ in the programme.

Two female passers-by also remarked: ‘It reminds me of a spaceship that has landed in a little gap. I can see why people wouldn’t like it because it isn’t something that goes with the area.’

While another resident, who moved to the neighbourhood in 1970, added: ‘We have lived here since 1970, and some people think the house looks hideous and some think it is interesting… It’s a matter of taste.’

But Kevin – who agreed it has spaceship-like qualities – was enamoured with the four-storey property which features a solid circular front that faces the street, and a upturned glass hull perched on top.

The only rectangular rooms are those of the bedrooms on the ground floor anchored in the landscaped garden, while the upper deck houses the entrance hall, bathroom and a studio.

A sweeping circular staircase takes the visitor right up to the top deck – a living space and a winter garden that looks out into the prestigious south London suburb.

The intrigued presenter questioned what kept the pair so driven to realise their dream home and to go through all the trouble.

‘It’s like we’re maximising the opportunity to enjoy how you live. Highly tuned spaces that deliver very special experiences,’ answered Mr Russum.

The house - which took more than a decade to realise - has a circular shape that faces on to the street
The dramatic upturned glass hull is perched on top

The house – which took more than a decade to realise – has a circular shape that faces on to the street, and a dramatic upturned glass hull which perched on top

A sweeping staircase takes the visitor up to the upper deck - the interior reminiscent of a ship, with port holes for window and a large glass windows

A sweeping staircase takes the visitor up to the upper deck – the interior reminiscent of a ship, with port holes for window and a large glass windows

SOUTH STREET

This controversial corten steel clad riverfront home may have been described by the RIBA judges as a ‘window to the world’, but locals in Lewes, East Sussex were not as happy when the rusting structure was erected.

South Street overlooks the River Ouse in a narrow plot of land just 11 metres wide, that was beset by difficulties from the get go.

Featured in a previous episode of Grand Designs, the owners Stephen and Anita Yeomans spent £700,000 on a build that many locals hoped would never come to fruition.

The former mayor Susan Murray recalled in the House of the Year episode how much she detested the five-bedroom industrial inspired property and opposed the planning.

‘Ugly in one word. We want to reflect our industrial heritage but I’m just not sure an ugly building sticking out like a sore thumb is quite the way to go about reflecting that heritage,’ she said.

The striking South Street five-bedroom property is sandwiched between the River Ouse and a dual carriageway on an 11-metre wide plot

The striking South Street five-bedroom property is sandwiched between the River Ouse and a dual carriageway on an 11-metre wide plot

The interior is perfectly crafted with an open-plan living area on the bottom floor with five bedrooms and three bathroom on the upper floor

The interior is perfectly crafted with an open-plan living area on the bottom floor with five bedrooms and three bathroom on the upper floor

Considering its entry into the House of the Year competition she joked: ‘It’s quite an unusual building and I can see why a judging panel would go for something a bit different, but I just hope to goodness there are some more attractive buildings out there that might win.’

The Yeomans spent £60,000 on the steel cladding that architect Sandy Rendel used to mimic the former industrial style buildings surrounding the plot, as well as give it the striking orange-red colour.

With a tight nine-month schedule the property was finished in December 2015, with the Yeomans fitting in the birth of a baby and a wedding in Anita’s homeland of New Zealand before they settled in.

Presenter Kevin McCloud points out that the house was never going to be universally liked.

Gushing he adds: ‘Of course people will say it is a ‘rusting metal box’, but it is a beautifully designed and exquisitely crafted metal box and in the world of architecture that makes all the difference.’

The RIBA judges applauded the house for being a 'window to the world' thanks to its views overlooking the river and land

The RIBA judges applauded the house for being a ‘window to the world’ thanks to its views overlooking the river and land

But the corten steel cladding, which gives it the striking red-orange rust colour, wasn't welcomed by locals including the former mayor who branded it 'ugly'

But the corten steel cladding, which gives it the striking red-orange rust colour, wasn’t welcomed by locals including the former mayor who branded it ‘ugly’

NESS POINT

A villa which directly mirrors the White Cliffs of Dover on which it sits, makes the long list of the group inspired by water.

The RIBA judges said that interior designer and owner Logan Watt’s striking four-bedroom Ness Point perfectly fit within the theme because it was ‘growing out of the land which it is embedded’.

Logan explains how the curved front wall echoes the curves of the somewhat more ragged shape of the cliffs. The flexible theme runs throughout the interior with folding walls and screens that open the space and make use of the stunning views – on clear days France is visible on the horizon.

The curved front wall of Ness Point echoes the craggier curves of the White Cliffs of Dover on which the striking white house sits

The curved front wall of Ness Point echoes the craggier curves of the White Cliffs of Dover on which the striking white house sits

There is no need for wallpaper when the expensive curved glass gives stunning views of the coast - on clear days the coast of France is visible on the horizon

There is no need for wallpaper when the expensive curved glass gives stunning views of the coast – on clear days the coast of France is visible on the horizon

Knocking down his parents’ family home, he wanted to build something future-proof for his children.

Despite the architect Mike Tonkin having to manoeuvre around a cliff collapse which postponed build, Logan’s thorough research confirmed his thirties-inspired seaside home would be safe for at least another 400 years.

The unusual house doesn’t have everyone convinced, however, with one neighbour complaining: ‘It reminds me a bit of Hollywood, but Hollywood is not round here so I think something more English would be nicer to see. I think it is a bit out of place.’

Owner Logan Watt was inspired by thirties seaside houses. RIBA said the design of the property meant it appeared to be 'growing out of the land in which it is embedded'

Owner Logan Watt was inspired by thirties seaside houses. RIBA said the design of the property meant it appeared to be ‘growing out of the land in which it is embedded’

One of Logan's neighbour believed that Ness Point belonged in the Hollywood Hills rather than the UK coast and wanted something more traditional

One of Logan’s neighbour believed that Ness Point belonged in the Hollywood Hills rather than the UK coast and wanted something more traditional

REDSHANK

This one-bedroom home was inspired by the seabird it was named after – the elegant redshank with distinctive red legs and a beautiful speckled brown body rising out of the sea.

Perched on the saltlands of the Essex coast, nestled among Colne Point Nature Reserve, the studio was built for artist Marcus Taylor.

Going well over his intended £100,000 budget, the compact structure is made up of cork and timber wooden frames and a set on a cantilever.

Redshank is named after the seabird which inspired its shape - an elegant animal that has distinctive red spindly legs and a brown speckled body

Redshank is named after the seabird which inspired its shape – an elegant animal that has distinctive red spindly legs and a brown speckled body

Although just 49sqm in size, the one-bedroom studio has a large open-plan dining are and kitchen, bathroom and a spacious balcony perfect for birdwatching

Although just 49sqm in size, the one-bedroom studio has a large open-plan dining are and kitchen, bathroom and a spacious balcony perfect for birdwatching

It features a surprisingly large open-plan dining area and kitchen, one bedroom and bathroom, and twice a day is surrounded by the sea when the tide draws in.

The building is in a somewhat remote area, with his own family home close by, but it stands out on the shoreline and one neighbour Christopher Harbord said looks like it could take off and walk at any moment.

Admiring the property he said: ‘We thought it looked rather like the War of the Worlds, this giant thing with long legs marching their way along the planet.’

Although the marsh lands in which it was built proved challenging to work with, it makes for a beautiful landscape when the tide draws in twice a day surrounding the house with water

Although the marsh lands in which it was built proved challenging to work with, it makes for a beautiful landscape when the tide draws in twice a day surrounding the house with water

EDINBURGH ROAD

A bungalow built not just on the sea ‘but holding it back’ is how long-list entry Edinburgh Road in East Lothian is described.

The original property had been inherited by Archie and Trisha Macdonald, who wanted to transform the bungalow that had it’s back facing the sea and turn it around to take advantage of the coastal landscape.

They encountered problems when they discovered that the entire roof of the original building needed replacing and the foundations were crumbling.

The couple had to sink their life savings into the property, but ended up with a stunning two-bedroom home with a pine-clad extension where the crashing waves are literally just a stones throw away.

The original bungalow had been in Trisha Macdonald's family since the sixties. The couple inherited it and decided to transform it

The original bungalow had been in Trisha Macdonald’s family since the sixties. The couple inherited it and decided to transform it

The interior features sweeping view inline with the sea just outside the front door. The house is anchored into the sea wall

The interior features sweeping view inline with the sea just outside the front door. The house is anchored into the sea wall

The bungalow had originally faced the road, with its back to the sea, so the couple decided to rebuild turning it around to take advantage of the view

The bungalow had originally faced the road, with its back to the sea, so the couple decided to rebuild turning it around to take advantage of the view

The two shortlisted properties will be revealed on Grand Designs: House of the Year tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm

Posted on; DailyMail>>

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