Construction has begun on a development of 160 homes and an 8.4 hectare area of public space in Little Dunmow.

Land for the Orchard development, constructed by housebuilder Dandara, was acquired last year before being granted planning approval.

The development is set to launch off-plan this month, with homes available to buy before they are built.

There will be a range of one to five-bedroom houses, featuring open plan living spaces, private gardens and sustainable features including air source heat pumps and water efficient fittings.

The development's publicly accessible open space will include a community orchard, wildlife area and pedestrian and cycling paths connecting to the nearby Flitch Way linear country park.

A community building will be at the site thanks to a collaboration between Dandara and the Little Dunmow Parish Council.

John Baines, land and planning director for Dandara Eastern, commented: "Receiving approval on this site is a big step forward for us to continue providing quality homes in Essex, and we’re excited to begin construction on the development.

"The Orchards will stand as a triumph of sustainability and community engagement. We have designed the development to prioritise connectivity through improved footway and cycleway connections to the Flitch Way and surrounding areas.

"We are also excited to partner with the Little Dunmow Parish Council to create the community building for the benefit of the local community."

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Gemma Bannister, head of sales at Dandara Eastern, said: "We are very pleased to begin work on this collection of stylish homes at The Orchard.


"We expect that the strong mix of housing will appeal to a range of buyers, whether they’re first-time homeowners, growing families wanting to move up the property ladder or retirees looking to downsize.

"This community is the perfect mix of new eco technology and rustic charm, and we’re confident buyers will love their new home."

The Orchard development is minutes away from the centre of Little Dunmow, and is also close to the leisure centre and to Flitch Way Country Park, as well as Braintree railway station.