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Damien Hirst to build 500 eco homes (Eco news)

Damien Hirst to build 500 eco homes reported

The world's richest living artist Damien Hirst is turning his hand to property development after unveiling plans for 500 eco homes on the north Devon coast.

Hirst, 46, is said to be "incredibly excited" about the development in Ilfracombe, Devon, where he already has a restaurant, an art studio and several properties.

The properties feature hidden wind turbines in the roofs, photovoltaic solar panels and state-of-the-art insulation.

Hirst hopes the development will create a national blueprint for environmental housing and help regenerate the area.

Architects acting for the father-of-three are hoping to submit a planning application this summer and building work could start as early as next year.

The announcement was made by one of his representatives, architect Mike Rundell, at a planning meeting last week.

Mr Rundell said: "I'm a representative of Damien Hirst. He owns 40 per cent of the land we are talking about.

"As you know, he is a very successful artist and has very high ambitions for this project. He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings.

"He wants these houses to be the kind of homes he would want to live in."

The houses would be built on land at Winsham Farm just outside Ilfracombe, which Hirst has made his home in recent years.

In September 2008 Hirst sold a complete show called 'Beautiful Inside My Head Forever' at Sotheby's for £111 million, breaking the record for a one-artist auction.

His wealth was valued at £215 million in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List.

Mr Rundell added: "Damien is a local developer. He lives locally, shops locally, owns local businesses and his children go to local schools.

"He cares about Ilfracombe and wants this project to have a positive effect on the town.

"He wants these buildings to be landmarks that will stand the test of time and create a blueprint for quality, environmentally sustainable developments across the country."


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