And they call it puppy love: couple move out of London in search of more space for a dog

SJP Case Study

Having lived near Wandsworth Common in south-west London for 5 years, operations consultant, Alexandra and chartered governance professional, Antony, found their ideal home at St James’ Park - Countryside’s popular new neighbourhood in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire - where they began a new chapter of their lives with the newest member of their family, Old English Sheepdog x Poodle puppy, Otis.

An abundance of greenspace and walks to explore nearby

With Alexandra’s father living in Bishop’s Stortford, the pair were familiar with the local area and decided it was the perfect place to settle down and raise their much longed-for puppy.

Antony says: “We always knew we wanted to get a dog and whenever we visited Alex’s dad, we always commented on how much we loved Bishop’s Stortford. There’s so much countryside to explore and some beautiful walks for dog owners. The town itself is also not too overcrowded - there’s lots of things to do and see, including a great range of restaurants and cafés. I grew up in a market town in Lincolnshire that was not too dissimilar plus, here, we also noticed there’s a large community who have also moved out of London, so we felt we would have things in common with our neighbours.”

Making a house a home

Having looked at a range of properties in the area, Alexandra and Antony decided a new build home would be best for their lifestyle and allow them to make their house their own. On a drive through the local area, Alexandra and Antony discovered St James’ Park, before it had officially launched.

Alexandra says: “We’d heard about the development when we visited my dad and drove past where St James’ Park would eventually be. The scheme hadn’t even launched but we registered our interest online as soon as we could.”

After visiting nearby developments, the pair fell in love with St James’ Park and opted for The Laurel – a three-bedroom, semi-detached house. Designed with modern living in mind, the couple were impressed by the thoughtful layout of their new home.

Alexandra says: “With plans to get a dog, we knew we definitely needed a garden. We fell in love with The Laurel, as it was modern and all the rooms were bright and spacious. We also have space on our driveway alongside a car barn - plus we’ve also had an electric charge point installed too.”

Antony adds: “We wanted more space than we had in our home in London, ideally a house with three bedrooms so that we could convert one of the rooms into a home office for when I work from home.”

Offering the best of town and country living

St James’ Park will eventually deliver over 750 new homes, alongside community facilities and green open space. Having purchased their dream home, Alexandra and Antony are looking forward to seeing how the development and community grows over the next few years.

Alexandra says: “It feels like it’s going to be a really lovely neighbourhood. The landscaping has been thoughtfully done and there are plans for a primary and secondary school here, which is nice to know for the future.”

Antony adds: “Although we have our own private space, it’s also nice to have neighbours close by and to feel part of a community.”

Located within the commuter belt, Bishop’s Stortford boasts excellent transport connections, providing great access into central London and beyond.

Alexandra says: “It was the perfect location for us both in terms of visiting my family, but also for our work. St James’ Park is very close to Bishop’s Stortford Station, so we can get to London Liverpool Street direct in less than 40 minutes. Stansted Airport is also nearby which makes going abroad also very easy.”

Choosing the perfect first home

The pair, who purchased their new home off-plan, were confident Countryside was the right housebuilder for their first home.

Antony says: “As it was our first home, we thoroughly researched Countryside before buying off-plan. We were confident our home would be high-quality and were reassured after we met with the team, who talked us through the process.”

Alexandra adds: “We’ve been very impressed by the finish of our home - everyone always comments on the quality when they visit.”