Sunday 20 April 2014

Tycoon built a €36m futuristic house but has never lived in it

HOME SWEET HOME: David McMurtry's spectacular eco-house in which he has never lived. It is located in Gloucestershire on the edge of the Cotswolds, and includes a swimming pool, squash courts and large garage

CLONTARF native David McMurtry, co-founder of UK precision engineering powerhouse Renishaw, designed a €36m futuristic eco-home in the countryside in Gloucestershire in south-west England in 2001.

But once it was built, there was just one problem.

"I saw I could build a house in an area of outstanding natural beauty through a British government scheme marking the Millennium that allowed a limited number of new country houses to be built because none had been this century," Mr McMurtry told the Sunday Independent.

"I took the bait, which I now deeply regret. I was interested in it being energy efficient and super-insulated.

"But I've never lived there. My wife said, 'no way.'"

Even though he's chairman and CEO of a company with offices in 31 countries, and his 36pc stake is currently worth about €430m, Mrs McMurtry's word was final.

"We live in a converted barn nearby, where my wife can more easily tend to the house and garden," he added.

His son and daughter now live in the 23,250sq ft eco-home, which has a swimming pool, bowling alley, squash courts and an eight-car garage.

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