The original plan was to move to a chocolate-box cottage in the country. Sounds idyllic until the repairs for the house add up and the isolation sets in. For Pam and Mick Childs, making the decision to move had to work on a number of levels; most importantly that the process would be as stress-free as possible.
For most of their married lives, the couple lived in a three-bedroom house in Woodford Green where they had their children. Once they had grown up, Pam and Mick lived for a few years in a flat in Colchester.
“I’ve always lived in London but once our son moved to Coggeshall, it gave us the idea that we may like to move to a more peaceful area,” says Mick. “Colchester was starting to feel busy with lots of traffic and so many new build developments that we felt we were both ready for a change.”
Although the original idea was to move to an old property and renovate, the couple understood that it probably wouldn’t suit their lifestyle. “What we love about Coggeshall is that it has everything in it but still feels like the countryside,” says Pam. “We needed to be realistic and live in an area that didn’t feel isolated and somewhere we could walk to the shops and everything that we needed. If you buy an old house, then you are going to spend a lot of time and money getting it right and that’s not something that we wanted to do.”
The couple viewed quite a few new build developments but nothing felt right until they visited Coggeshall West, a boutique development of three- four- and five-bedroom houses built by multi-award winning and local housebuilder, Higgins Homes.
Coggeshall is a picturesque and historic market town in Essex, eight miles to the east of Braintree. Although it boasts easy accessibility to both Colchester and London, it remains totally unspoilt and charming in character with its attractive centre made up of nearly 200 listed buildings.
“We looked at quite a few new developments but none of them had the character that Coggeshall West has,” says Pam. “The build is really in keeping with the town’s personality and each house has its own individuality giving a lovely feel overall. There’s a nature reserve just around the corner with plenty of established trees, which gives it a peaceful and picturesque setting.”
Inside, the high standard of build that Higgins Homes is known for can be seen throughout. “Although we had a three-bedroom house in Woodford Green, this property actually is larger and will have the added bonus of views over the open landscaped area at the front of the house when the development is finished” says Mick. “It’s a really bright, south-facing house and an excellent standard of finish in general,” adds Pam. “We have a lovely large kitchen/diner, which is something that I never really thought I wanted before. But now we have it, I love that we have a really spacious area with double doors opening up to the living room. The spare bedrooms will be for guests and when our grandson wants to sleep over, or we may consider the third bedroom being an office area/music room.”
Although Coggeshall West has everything that the couple were looking for, what really sealed the deal was the ease in which they could purchase. “It was of paramount importance to us that we could buy and sell as easily as possible,” says Mick. “The fact that Higgins Homes could part-exchange our flat enabled us to move with very little stress. Everyone at Higgins Homes has been really helpful and lovely. The overall service has been excellent, which has made the whole experience much more pleasant.”
Although Pam and Mick have only been in their new house just over a week, they are already feeling settled as Pam adds: “We’ve walked into the town a few times to familiarize ourselves with it and visited the local shops and market. We have lots of exploring to do and will enjoy a visit to the local vineyard.” Having lived in London and cities all his life, Mick is looking forward to a new chapter: “This feels really like living in the countryside but we are still really well connected to Ipswich and other cities. We are looking forward to lots of country walks and exploring the area and just generally settling into the community.”
In fact, village life at Coggeshall has everything you need on your doorstep including local, historic pubs and a Co-op for everyday shopping. To travel further afield, nearby Kelvedon Station offers a train journey into Colchester in just 19 minutes and Chelmsford in 16 minutes. There are regular bus services to Colchester, Braintree and other nearby towns and villages and the A120 offers easy access to Colchester and Braintree.
To commute into London, the train takes you into London Liverpool Street in only 48 minutes. The A12 provides a direct link right to the centre of London and out to the coast of East Anglia. The M11 offers you a quick route to the M25 and the national motorway network. Stansted is the nearest airport, less than half an hour by car.