A newlywed couple who blamed a husband-and-wife team when their grand design 'dream home' turned into a £5million 'disaster' have lost their fight for damages.
Millionaire businessman Stuart Russell and his textile designer wife Naomi claimed they had planned to spend around £2million building 'a bespoke, curved, custom-built, high-end property' with 'a wow factor in every space' in one of London's most exclusive streets.
The 'highly successful and experienced businessman' and his wife hoped their four-bedroom house in Highgate would be finished in less than a year.
But a series of 'disputes' and withdrawals involving contractors brought 'disarray' and 'disaster' to their scheme. In the end, it took the couple 10 years, and cost them £5million. After completion, they sued project manager and quantity surveyor team Peter Stone, 61, and Linda Stone, 62, who advised them between 2008 and 2012.
Stuart and Naomi Russell (both left, pictured outside the High Court in London) said most of the blame for the debacle falls on husband and wife project manager and quantity surveyor 'team', Peter and Linda Stone (right)
The couple hired the husband and wife to build a 'a bespoke, curved, custom-built, high-end property' with 'a wow factor in every space' (pictured) in what they hoped would be a four-year project before it spiralled into a 10-year one
A High Court judge has thrown out the case against the Stones in relation to the Millfield Lane build (pictured) after the couple sued them for nearly £1million
They claimed the Stones' 'failures' and lack of foresight 'caused them to spend significantly more on their property' than intended. But Mrs Justice Jefford threw out the Russells' High Court claim for almost £1million compensation.
Millfield Lane in north London is one of the capital's most desirable streets, retaining a 'country lane' feel despite being 30 minutes from the heart of the City, and is a magnet for ambitious multi-million-pound self-builds.
The Russells bought a house on the street for £3.65m in August 2006, shortly after they got married, and demolished it to make way for their dream home in 2010.
Their 'bespoke modern residential property' is 'a detached home covering three stories with four bedrooms and a swimming pool on the lower ground floor, together with substantial landscaped grounds to the front and back' and is estimated by estate agents to be worth £8million.
Pictured: The end result of the 10-year build, with the Russells says ended up costing them more than double what they had envisaged when they first set out on the project
The couple proclaimed that they wanted a 'wow factor' in every part of the house, but later sued the Stones over their dissatisfaction at the time the project took and how much they ended up spending
The Stones, who live in a £1.2million flat in Kensington, west London, worked on the Russells' project through their business, PSP Consultants, for three-and-a-half years before quitting in 2012, after builders walked out.
Mr and Mrs Russell claimed the Stones were responsible for the raft of problems that dogged the project, because they had made 'representations' in a pre-contract letter to them that they 'could manage everything'.
Pictured: The kitchen and dining room inside the Grand Designs-style home
But the judge found that, while the Stones had been 'selling themselves' before the Russells agreed to sign them on, 'they did not contract on a basis that would make them liable for anything that went wrong'.
The judge said Mr and Mrs Russell were only recently married when they bought the house and it was their 'dream home'.
'It was a very personal project for them. Mrs Russell had a background in textile design and the house was an opportunity for her to bring her design eye to their home.
'She wanted a wow factor in each space. This case is about...PSP's responsibility and the extent of their responsibility for what went wrong'.
The judge said the focus of the Russells' claim had shifted during the trial and in the end one