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Acting on behalf of the Co-operative Group, Cambridgeshire based property consultants Barford + Co has concluded the sale of a 4.45 acre residential site at Cambridge Road, Puckeridge to Welwyn Garden City based developer Mears New Homes.

The marketing of the site commenced early in the New Year, and attracted considerable interest from numerous regional and national house builders. Following a formal tender exercise, 12 bids were received for the site. Barford + Co produced a shortlist of three parties and further negotiations were conducted culminating in a final sealed bids process. As a result of this, Mears New Homes was identified as the preferred bidder. As a strict condition of acceptance of the offer a swift deadline of 15 working days for exchange of contracts and completion of the sale was imposed. A concerted effort on the parts of both vendor, purchaser, and their respective solicitors and agents resulted in the required timescale being met.

Mears New Homes intends to move ahead with the development quickly, though it will, in the first instance be resubmitting the planning application with a view to achieving some minor changes to the scheme of development. 

Tony Biddiscombe, Head of Business Development at Mears, stated

“We are delighted to be involved in this opportunity and have some interesting ideas on how we can make this a really exceptional scheme for both the new residents and the existing local community. We will be making some fairly minor amendments to the plans which were submitted by the Co-ops architect, and will welcome community engagement and feedback within our planning strategy” 

The scheme will deliver 24 homes and will be made up of predominantly larger scale 3, 4 and 5 bed executive dwellings, including 40% of the total number of units being made available as affordable housing. Mears are working in partnership with Aldwyck Housing Group, which is a not-for-profit social housing provider in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, to deliver the ten affordable homes, which will comprise both Shared Ownership and Affordable Rent properties for local people.

Mears approach the design and material selection of their schemes with sensitivity toward to quality and the traditions of each community. This scheme will be designed in a style and with a materials pallet to compliment the character of Puckeridge.

“With a site area of 4.45 acres, there is potential for an extremely low density development with large gardens and generous areas of greenery and open space, which is complimented further with fantastic views over the rolling countryside to the east. Care will be taken to preserve these amenities, whilst providing enhanced access to the community via pedestrian links and viewpoints” continued Mr Biddiscombe.

Mears New Homes has confirmed that work on site is likely to commence in late 2016, with the first houses likely to be available in spring 2017.

On behalf of Barford + Co, Director Phil Halmshaw said “Our clients are extremely pleased with the outcome arising from this transaction and it is extremely rare for a transaction of this scale and complexity to be turned around so quickly. Mears New Homes have demonstrated by their positive actions that they are a serious player in the residential land market in the Northern Home Counties and beyond”.

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