A couple have told how they spent three years creating one of Britain’s most unusual properties – by converting a former underground reservoir.
Civil engineer Robert Hardy and his wife Ann began the mammoth project after falling in love with a 6,500 sq ft site at the centre of a hillock in Sidmouth, Devon.
The decommissioned reservoir resembled a concrete drum, and had been lying unused for five years when they bought it from South West Water in 2008.
The water company was selling planning permission for the space to be converted into a five-bedroom house – at a guide price of £300,000.
While many scoffed at the idea, Mr Hardy, 49, said the scale and difficulty of the project was exactly what attracted him.
‘I have spent years putting housing developments into fields, and it is utterly boring,’ he said.
‘This project had so many interesting aspects to it.
‘How do you deal with the height problems?
‘What about the light? How do you go about uncovering the drum? It was fascinating.’