A young couple break free from the renting cycle and move into their dream home with new puppy in our Newlands Park development, Essex.

Meg Owen and Ben Dransfield left behind the busy town of Colchester to buy their first home around 25 minutes away at our Newlands Park development in Mistley, Essex.

Explaining their decision to leave their rental, Meg said, “We were renting a house in Colchester before, but our rent was already exceeding £1,000 per month and we had no guarantee it wouldn’t increase. We were really keen to use our money smarter and pay towards a home we actually owned, rather than losing it all in rent.

“Even so, we really weren’t expecting to move into our first home until 2023 at the earliest. I only graduated university two and a half years ago, but Ben has been saving for a home since he was 17 when he started his apprenticeship, so we did have a small amount of savings.”

“The plan all changed when we saw the Cala showhomes at Newlands Park. When we actually saw what the house would look like, we just knew this was going to be our home.

Meg and Ben purchased a detached three-bedroom Hiswick home. Our properties at Newlands Park offer a range of two, three and four-bedroom homes, all situated on Essex’s very own Sunshine Coast in the village of Mistley.

The development is a short walk from both Mistley or Manningtree train stations, just an 8 minute stroll to the high street boasting cafés, restaurants and local shops, and is only a half an hour drive from popular seaside towns along the southeast coast.

Ben added, “Location was a big part of it too, obviously both of us need to commute to work, but we also wanted easy access to London. The train stations at Mistley or nearby Manningtree are ideal for local trips or getting into London in only 50 minutes with no changes, so it’s very doable for us if we want to get to the capital."

Ben and Meg’s 16-week-old golden retriever Max is the first puppy at Newlands Park, and has already benefitted from the easy access to the countryside, nature trails nearby and scenic walks along the River Stour.

Ben continues, “But then balanced against the need to get to London easily, we also knew we wanted to be somewhere good for our new puppy, with lots of places to walk him and keep him entertained.”

Meg added, “Max has been the best for getting us integrated into the community – everyone on the development loves him! He’s definitely the most popular new resident.”

“It’s only a two-minute walk from the house to the nearest nature trail, although it’s been taking us longer recently because we keep getting stopped by other residents who just can’t resist saying hello to Max!”

Recalling their decision to choose their home at Newlands Park, Ben says it was because it perfectly matched their list of must-haves: “Given our jobs, we had a fairly long list of requirements.”

Meg works as a building surveyor, while Ben is a wind turbine technician working out at sea, sailing out every morning and returning every night.

Ben said, “With such long days out at sea, it was really important for me to have somewhere cosy and relaxing to come home to, and I know Meg was adamant that everything be up to her high standards!”

Meg added, “Since I work as a building surveyor, I knew exactly what I wanted because I know what sort of problems can come from buying an older home.

“I work with both older style properties and new-builds, primarily in defects, which means as far as prospective buyers go, I’m probably on the pickier side! Energy efficiency was a big factor for me, as well as the style of heating, as I know how expensive it can be to heat a home that isn’t properly planned out and insulated, and the carbon footprint associated with that too.

“I was also very firm on my decision that we should buy a property built with proper stone masonry, and Newlands Park ticked every box.”

New homes are built to a layout which optimises insulation and airflow, meaning 84% of new builds are rated A-B for energy efficiency, against just 3% of existing properties. A study by HBF found that newbuilds use significantly less energy than older homes in the UK, contributing to newbuilds saving on average £435 on their energy bills per year compared to owners of older properties.

Meg said, “The Cala team were amazing about everything. Since we’re first-time buyers we didn’t really know how to go about everything, but Cala made sure the whole process was stress-free and straightforward.

“With my job as a building surveyor, I wanted to know about every little detail and know every decision the site team made. I thought they’d find this annoying, but I couldn’t have been more wrong, they were delighted to go through everything with me.”


To find out more information or to register interest, visit our Newlands Park development page. 

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