New build homes in Essex: 10 best developments

Just above London you’ll find Essex, home of Dame Helen Mirren, Depeche Mode and The Prodigy. Like its famous offspring, Essex is a highly diverse and energetic place, offering newcomers and established residents something new all the time. If that sounds appealing, come take a look at some of the best new build homes in Essex, as the county’s property market is enjoying another round of expansion.

New builds in Essex: 10 best developments

If you’re keen to know more about the kind of property you can find in Essex, our list is an excellent starting point. The following are the top 10 ranked property developments in the county. As always, we determine these rankings entirely based on the scores submitted by verified residents.

*PLEASE NOTE these rankings take into account how recently reviews have been submitted, so may not match the overall star ratings shown. More recent reviews are given a greater weighting to reflect current building performance.

1. Arboretum, CM16

Higgins Homes PLC
4.27 (10 reviews) 4.27 (10 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of Arboretum, CM16

Jumping in straight at the top of our list is a newcomer; Arboretum is a Higgins Homes development situated in Epping, Essex. This development provides 149 mixed tenure homes on the grounds of Epping St John’s School’s former school site and a new replacement secondary school.

The development was designed by Architect Melville Dunbar Associates, and comprises predominantly two-storey houses, as well as some three-storey flats, in an enviable location on the edge of green fields and open public spaces.

Read reviews and details of Arboretum, CM16

2. One Canalside, CM2

urbanbubble, Legal & General
4.19 (116 reviews) 4.19 (116 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of One Canalside, CM2

Our 2nd top-rated new build development in Essex is One Canalside, a residential development by Legal & General and managed by Urbanbubble. It features 189 apartments with a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom homes. Facilities include a residents’ lounge, work zone and meeting room. There’s also plans for a fully equipped games rooms and private dining room to be completed in 2022. In addition, on-site parking is available as well as a free cycle storage. With a waterside location, the development is only a 10-minute walk away from Chelmsford city centre, giving residents easy access to the station and its Greater Anglia rail links.

Read reviews and details of One Canalside, CM2

3. St Luke’s Park, SS11

4.43 (10 reviews) 4.43 (10 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of St Luke’s Park, SS11

3rd place goes to St Luke’s Park. Just north of Basildon, and set within an existing parkland with easy access to neighbouring towns and transport, St Luke’s Park is an ideal place to call home. Residents describe the development as being extremely scenic, with plenty of open green spaces offering pleasant walks to the nearby pub and restaurants.

Read reviews and details of St Luke’s Park, SS11

4. Simple Life at Base at Newhall, CM17

Simple Life Homes
4.16 (16 reviews) 4.16 (16 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of Simple Life at Base at Newhall, CM17

4th-placed Base at Newhall is a development offering two, three and four-bedroom homes to rent in Harlow. London is accessible in under an hour by train, offering connectivity. It also includes a variety of green spaces, retail areas and schools.

Read reviews and details of Simple Life at Base at Newhall, CM17

5. Atelier, CM18

4.10 (6 reviews) 4.10 (6 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of Atelier, CM18

Our 5th-ranked development is located in Harlow, a popular and charming Essex town. Atelier is a collection of 2,3 & 4 bedroom homes offering tranquil countryside living but with the access to the city in under 30 minutes. One resident here describes the design of the homes as being “impeccable”.

Read reviews and details of Atelier, CM18

6. Elizabeth Gardens, SS4

Ashberry Homes
4.05 (9 reviews) 4.05 (9 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of Elizabeth Gardens, SS4

In 6th, Elizabeth Gardens is located close to countryside, coast and town and offers a community of new homes in Rochford. Elizabeth Gardens is a 10 minute walk from Rochford Railway Station where journey times into London Liverpool Street are around 50 minutes.

Read reviews and details of Elizabeth Gardens, SS4

7. Gardiners Park Village, SS14

Inland Homes
4.05 (6 reviews) 4.05 (6 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of Gardiners Park Village, SS14

For our 7th spot, we head over to Gardiners Park Village, a new residential project that’s set to transform the area to the East of Basildon town centre. Basildon station is less than a 10 minute drive from Gardiners Park Village and here you can catch a direct train to London in 40 minutes.

Read reviews and details of Gardiners Park Village, SS14

8. Meadow Rise, CM7

4.01 (7 reviews) 4.01 (7 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of Meadow Rise, CM7

Next up, Meadow Rise is located in Braintree, a short distance from the town centre. A traditional style development designed to enhance the natural landscape. Braintree itself is roughly equidistant from Chelmsford and Colchester via the A120 and A131. Residents routinely praise the style and finishing of their properties, citing a high standard overall.

Read reviews and details of Meadow Rise, CM7

9. L&Q at Beaulieu Shared Ownership, CM1

3.97 (27 reviews) 3.97 (27 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of L&Q at Beaulieu Shared Ownership, CM1

9th place goes to the sought-after Chelmsford development, Beaulieu, which offers a variety of Shared Ownership homes. Residents benefit from a health centre, restaurants, and convenience stores. Additionally, bus services connect the community to and from Chelmsford City Centre and Chelmsford Train Station.

Read reviews and details of L&Q at Beaulieu Shared Ownership, CM1

10. Oakwood Meadows, CO3

Charles Church
3.71 (15 reviews) 3.71 (15 reviews)
Area guide to Essex
Image of Oakwood Meadows, CO3

Rounding off the list nicely, we now move a little way to the west of Colchester to find Oakwood Meadows. This is a new development located in the village of Stanway. Here you’ll find a mix of 2-5-bedroom homes on offer. There are good transport links and already the development has created a strong sense of community.

Read reviews and details of Oakwood Meadows, CO3

Where is Essex?

Essex is one of the counties of the East England region. Its main urban centres are Colchester and Chelmsford, and it extends out to the eastern coastline as well.

Why live in Essex?

One of the biggest selling points for living in Essex is that it offers a lot of choice. There are beautiful pockets of rural farmland, along with stunning coastal scenery and no shortage of good-sized towns too.

Essex is also a commuter haven. Three of the county’s towns represent the ‘best value in the UK’ for a London commuter lifestyle. This is partly due to its great rail and road links to the capital.

There’s a great cultural richness to Essex too. From the Roman wall ruins and outstanding castle of Colchester (England’s oldest town) to the longstanding markets, Essex is a place where history and community come together. It’s also a place where people know how to have fun, with excellent nightlife, cultural and entertainment attractions.

What are average property prices in Essex like?

At the time of writing (December 2023) average prices for property in Essex were around £412,000, according to Zoopla. Surprisingly, the property market remains steady here, evening out after the worst fluctuations caused by the pandemic.

If you’re looking to buy a flat in Essex, expect to pay around £228,000, and roughly £367,000 for a terraced house. As for renting in Essex, a rough average between various providers is about £1,714 per calendar month (

What is HomeViews?

If you want to explore more of Essex, check out our dedicated area guide below. Here you’ll find a much larger selection of new build developments to investigate. Whatever your tastes and budget, Essex will likely have a range of suitable options.


Essex is a county in the East of England and is one of the most populous counties in the country. It has a population of 1.4 million people, making it an attractive place for prospective home buyers to invest their money and enjoy all Read more about Essex

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.

written by

Jan Moys

A residential property expert with over 15 years’ experience creating content... Read all

A residential property expert with ov... Read all