Couple swaps period cottage for ‘off-plan’ Norfolk new build

PUBLISHED: 09:46 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 07 April 2020

Work on the Unwins' former period cottage. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Work on the Unwins' former period cottage. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


Find out why one couple decided to swap their beloved thatched cottage in East Bergholt for a brand new new-build home.

Colin and Sue Unwin in front of their new home. Picture: Kier LivingColin and Sue Unwin in front of their new home. Picture: Kier Living

For the past 25 years, Colin and Sue Unwin have been dedicated to one collective love: their period thatched property in East Bergholt.

But after decades of continuous maintenance, they decided it was time to say their fond farewells and begin a new chapter elsewhere. They might have lost a DIY project, but they gained freedom and opportunity.

“It became a labour of love, to say the least, but we decided it was about time we focus more on ourselves than our home,” said Colin, 66.

The couple initially viewed a number of second-hand homes in areas including Boxford, Stoke-by-Nayland and Long Melford, before considering the possibility of a new build.

“We came across a new development in Long Melford and began to ponder the benefits,” said Colin. “Unfortunately, we missed our chance there, but it was a blessing in disguise as shortly after we discovered Elms Croft.”

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Their first visit to the site was in 2018 and although work hadn’t begun, they were still able to visualise the development layout and gain an idea of plot size and placement, setting their sights firmly on one particular plot.

“Plot placement was key for us, with one immediately standing out to the rear of the site: the Dante,” said Sue, 65. “We viewed the floorplans and were impressed with its overall size and layout, as well as the garage and garden.”

The couple took the plunge and bought off-plan in January 2019.

“We received regular updates on the progress of build from the first dig right up to completion. We won’t lie, early on in the process we were concerned about the amount of space that would be available, but once the scaffolding was removed the home really opened up and if anything, it was bigger than we expected,” said Sue.

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After selling their home in June and six months of renting, the Unwins completed their move to Elms Croft in January this year. Both now retired, the move has provided the couple with even more free time to do other things.

Speaking before the Covid-19 lockdown, Sue said: “When we’re not exploring Long Melford on foot, we usually like to visit our daughter Sarah, her husband John and our grandson Jacob, who live on the outskirts of Sudbury, as well making trips to Kent to visit our son Michael and his wife Sophie. We also have a beautiful grade II listed cottage in Devon that we spend a lot of time at.”

The couple praised the service provided by the Elms Croft team which they said provided regular updates throughout the process.

To find out more about the properties at Elms Croft, visit www.kierliving.co.uk

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