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Last Updated: Monday, 4 July, 2005, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Futuristic luxury homes unveiled
Proposed home at the Cotswold Water Park
The properties are being sold for up to 10m
A showpiece collection of futuristic luxury homes set in a Cotswold nature reserve and designed by some of the UK's top architects have been unveiled.

The 46 houses form part of the waterside Lower Mill Estate near Somerford Keynes in Gloucestershire.

Some of the houses have roofs opening like flowers, one has revolving floors to catch the sun and some are designed to slide out over the lake.

The properties, aimed at the holiday homes market, are going for up to 10m.

Respect for environment

Owner and developer Jeremy Paxton spent nine years turning the former Roman villa and dairy farm into an organic water and wildlife reserve.

"The whole project is about vacation, relaxation and leisure, the architect has to respect that and also the environment it's being built in, which is effectively a large nature reserve," he said.

Cotswold District Council has granted permission for more than 500 homes altogether, most of which will be "ordinary" contemporary buildings.

But principal planner Marcus Kitchen said: "We still have to be mindful of the context because these landmark buildings are quite unique and we have to make sure they don't stick out like sore thumbs."

Villager concerns

Some villagers in nearby Somerford Keynes told BBC News they were worried it would price them out of the market.

One said: "It's a rich businessman's holiday place. They're not actually generating money into the local economy."

But Mr Paxton said much of the feedback had been positive.

Plans for the first eight houses, designed by Will Alsop, Piers Gough, Eva Jiricna, Sutherland Hussey, Roger Sherman, Sarah Featherstone, Alison Brooks and Richard Reid, were unveiled at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Monday.

Futuristic homes plan unveiled
04 Jul 05 |  In Pictures

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