The UK’s first custom-build housing development for many years has been given planning permission and the first 51 houses are now available as buildings plots, it has been revealed.
Oakley Orchards will feature six house designs for home builders to choose from although the interiors can be modified to buyers’ own specification, and plot prices vary from £50,000 to £330,000, and the plots are being sold by specialist estate agency Custom Build Homes based in Livingston near Edinburgh.
Located in Great Oakley, Manningtree, Essex the eco-neighbourhood is unlike any other housing development in the UK and is an initiative between local farmer Pete Thompson and community-centred eco-developer Village Makers.
Custom build plots
The custom build plots are set in fruit orchards, with farmland and allotments nearby and a herb garden created by the organic gardening expert Jekka McVicar.
“Every aspect of the design – from the open spaces, to the layout of the pathways and the location and orientation of the houses – is designed to encourage people to meet and talk to each other,” says Pete Thompson.
Add the village hall, adventure playground and forest school that are being created as part of the development, you begin to see that Oakley Orchards is not just joining the community, but greatly adding to it.”
Carole Salmon, founder-director of Village Makers, says: “The homes are very energy efficient, built with up-to-date methods and they follow the vernacular of traditional local architecture.”