Sarah Beeny is accused of ‘painful citysplaining’ by viewers over plan to knock down ‘Little House on the Prairie’ dairy farm to erect a mansion and build her own forest for ‘woodland walks’ on New Country Life
- Sarah Beeny’s New Country Life was criticised by Channel 4 viewers last night
- Followed the broadcaster and her husband Graham Swift on move to Somerset
- Couple hoped to build ‘the house of their dreams’ on a former dairy farm
- Viewers criticised the show as ‘painful’ and ‘citysplaining’ the country
Sarah Beeny’s New Country Life has been slammed by viewers for being ‘painful’ and ‘citysplaining’ the country after the broadcaster saught permission to build a mansion in place of a farmhouse.
The property expert, 48, and her husband Graham Swift, alongside their four sons, waved goodbye to city life in London and bought a former dairy form in Somerset with the intention of building the home of their dreams on the 220 acres of land.
But during the programme, the townie couple admitted their frustration after they struggled to gain planning permission to build a ‘contemporary take on the classical English stately home’ on the land.
Viewers were left stunned by the attitude of the couple on the show, with one commenting: ‘What a painful programme. I won’t be watching any more.’
Sarah Beeny’s New Country Life has been slammed by viewers for being ‘painful’ and ‘citysplaining’ the country after the broadcaster saught permission to build a mansion in place of a farmhouse
Another wrote: ‘What a waste of a good dairy farm. Best thing you could do for the countryside is to get a tenant farmer in and farm the land again.’
Graham is a professional artist, who spent months drawing up plans for the new house they intend to build.
He said: ‘I’ve always wanted to build my own house. It’s gong to be hard work but I hope it’s going to be rewarding.’
Graham took his inspiration for the home from Baroque architecture, but after months, the local council haven’t given them planning permission to build the dream property.
The broadcaster and her husband Graham Swift bought the dairy farm in order to build an enormous mansion on the land but struggled to get planning permission
Sarah explained: ‘It’s very difficult to get planning to build a new house in the open countryside. The reason we bought this farm is it already had planning permission to build a new house to build a house in this field.
‘But we don’t want to build a house here, because you can see for roughly 30 miles which gives you great views but they can see you for 30 miles as well.
‘I’d assumed planning permission would be a formality, because we’re saying this empty field, or that empty field.’
After months of waiting, the couple admitted they were growing annoyed, with Sarah saying: ‘It’s very frustrating having your destiny in someone else’s hands.’
During the Channel 4 programme last night, the couple unveiled grand drawings of the home they dreamed of building on the land
Graham said: ‘My biggest fear for this whole project is we won’t get planning permission for where we want it.’
Sarah called the property ‘little house on the prairy’ as the couple began changing the land around their would-be home, including planting 1,000 trees to create a ‘woodland walk’ near the stream.
Meanwhile the couple also said they hoped to improve biodiversity on the farm, while their sons Billy, 15, Charlie, 13, Raffy, 10, and Lawrie, 9, adjusted to moving from the capital to a new school in Somerset.
Sarah confessed: ‘There have been quite a lot of moments where I think we should give up on building the house.
Many of those watching the programme were left unimpressed by the couple’s efforts, with some calling them ‘disingenuous’
‘We wanted a home that our children could also grow up in. And if we don’t build the home soon, there won’t be any children to grow up in the house.’
Later, Sarah and her husband are told that it would be ‘several more weeks’ before they are granted planning permission, or they ‘could appeal’, in which case they could be waiting for permission for eight months.
Sarah confessed: ‘We did everything we could to make this as smooth as possible so I didn’t expect there to be delays.’
Later, they meet with the council to talk about how the building will impact the environment and the local community.
After months of waiting for planning permission, the couple confessed they were growing increasingly frustrated with the project
Graham admitted: ‘This is 20 years of drawings and plannings. I think we’re ready for it. We’re trying to be as helpful and amenable as we can.’
Sarah added: ‘Number one is the environment. They’re trying to see if we have proof and evidence to show that we know and care.’
The couple go in to try to win over the council and an hour-and-a-half later, Sarah said it was ‘completely exhausting’.
She explained: ‘As long as we give plenty, more than we should or could environmentally, and tick boxes that will benefit the community, they’re up for a deal.’
Later, Sarah and Graham were called into an ‘exhausting’ meeting with the local council to discuss how their build will improve the local community and the environment
Graham said: ‘About half way through, I did just think, oh god let’s just keep the house that we’re in. You just get to a stage when you think, it’s been going on for so long.
‘The whole romantic dream can get really jaundiced. In conclusion, I think we’re going to get planning, I just don’t know when.’
Many viewers branded the programme ‘painful’, with one commenting: ‘This is being stretched out too much. All they’ve done so far is dug a lake, made cheese and built a patio.’
Another wrote: ‘Er this lot already have a big farmhouse to live in, am I missing something?’
One commented: ‘Watched expecting the warm fuzzy feeling. Instead, I feel I have been ‘citysplained’ as to how to correctly live rurally by rich town folk who can’t grasp council apprehension to the construction of a garish mansion being built in the beautiful countryside.’