THE first sets of keys to a cohort of fresh homes on Mersea Island have been placed in the palms of their delighted new owners.

Property firm City & Country has handed over the first 19 of its 30 new properties on the Sanderling Reach development in Seaview Avenue to residents.  

The homes, known as Brierley paddocks, were constructed as part of a first-of-its-kinds partnership with the Local Housing Association CHP. 


Overall, 24 of the 30 homes will be offered under the scheme, with the remaining six being put up for sale on a shared ownership basis. 

The homes are said to be affordable, and have been sold at 80 per cent of the current market value. 

With sustainability in mind, they have also been built to reflect Essex architecture using timber frames. 

City & Country managing director Wayne Douglas said: “It is a great honour to be building homes for the local community.

“This is the first partnership of its kind for us, and it is extremely rewarding to see the delight on residents’ faces when they move in.” 


A celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony with CHP representatives, City & Country members, as well as Colchester councillor Paul Smith, portfolio holder for housing from Colchester Council, marked the occasion. 

Fiona Hollingsworth, growth and partnership director at CHP said: “We’re really pleased to be providing much-needed housing for local people on Mersea Island for the first time and proud to be partnering with City & Country. 

“We are committed to providing homes which are not only affordable for people to live in but are also more energy efficient and sustainable too.  

“It’s important to us to build decent homes that people want to live in.”

The developer has also submitted plans for an additional 18 homes at the Sanderling Reach development. 

Six of the proposed properties are planned to be almshouses and, once completed, will be gifted to West Mersea Town Council. 


If approved, the new homes will be built on a 0.5-hectare plot of land at the north-east of the development near Brierley Paddocks. 

The land currently has planning consent for commercial use.

But, despite extensive marketing over several years, it has attracted no viable commercial interest, according to the developer.