Looking to live in…Colchester?
The oldest recorded town in Britain, and once its capital, Colchester has been named as one of the fastest growing towns in the country. Home to popular visitor attractions, Colchester Castle and Colchester Zoo, it is also the birthplace of Blur musicians Alex James and Damon Albarn, OBE, as well as TV presenter Dermot O’Leary.
Colchester has seen a steady stream of new homes being built over the past few years, offering lots of opportunities for first time buyers and growing families to settle in. The town is a short hop away from picturesque villages and pretty beaches, as well as an easy commute to London and both Stansted and Southend airports.
James Gunther, Partner at Fenn Wright, comments: “Colchester is a really desirable place to live. Not just a university town and well-established garrison town, it is also home to an NHS teaching hospital and numerous good private and state schools. Only 50 minutes from London Liverpool Street by train, Colchester is becoming the town of choice for those looking to move out of London and experience the best of both worlds.
“Less expensive than its neighbouring Chelmsford, Colchester offers young professionals and families a lot more for their money in terms of house purchase, as well as a slower pace of life with pretty seaside towns and idyllic, Constable countryside only minutes away.”
Colchester is set to gain a host of new homes and sporting facilities as part of a high profile development, the Northern Gateway scheme. Designed to build upon an established leisure destination that includes Weston Homes Community Stadium, the home of Colchester United FC, the development will feature a sports centre with a state-of-the-art 1.6km road racing bike track, BMX track, horse riding course, archery ground and badminton courts.
Other large plots of land have been released to support Colchester’s rapid growth for both residential and commercial developments, including the new Colchester Garrison. Colchester has been a garrison town for hundreds of years and the £1.5billion PFI (private funding initiative) development of a new modern Garrison in the town has created improved accommodation and facilities for service personnel. The land released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a result of the new development will be used to create a sustainable mixed-use urban village close to the town centre.
Alongside its military features, Colchester also contains some beautiful architecture from its Roman past. The Roman Temple, Colchester Castle and Roman Wall (the longest and oldest surviving wall in Britain) are all integrated with the contemporary design of the town’s more modern properties. This juxtaposition can make the independent, quirky boutiques harder to find on Colchester’s high street. However, for those who persevere, there are some hidden gems tucked away on the quaint streets that remain in the historic town centre.
As well as its buzzing high street, a wealth of sports facilities and numerous child-friendly attractions, including the beaches of Frinton and West Mersea, Colchester also boasts a number of fine schools. In particular, Colchester County High School for girls and the Royal Grammar School for boys are the most sought-after. Other local schools that should be considered include St. Mary’s, Oxford House, Colchester High School and Holmwood House.
James Gunther recommends the following areas for anyone currently looking to buy a home in Colchester: “The north and west parts of Colchester tend to be most popular because they border the A12. In particular, the suburban area of Lexden is very sought-after by families looking to relocate to Colchester. It’s about 15 minutes’ walk from the centre and situated within easy reach of the town’s excellent schools.”
Here are a couple of great properties currently on the market in Colchester:
This handsome five bedroom semi-detached townhouse situated on Maldon Road, Colchester has a wealth of character and is within close proximity to excellent schools and within walking distance of Colchester town centre. On the market for £675,000 with Fenn Wright’s Signature team.
This luxury modern apartment is ideally positioned just off the High Street in a beautiful gated development. On the market for OIE of £300,000, this property is one of the largest in the development. Contact the Fenn Wright Colchester branch on 01206 763 388 for further details.