A housebuilder has witnessed a surge in demand for homes at its development next to Hatfield Peverel railway station, as more workers begin returning to the office.

Bellway Essex has seen enquiries about its Hatfield Grove development on Station Road increase over the past few weeks with commuter levels beginning to climb to pre-pandemic levels.

It comes as property website Rightmove is reporting a big jump in searches for homes near commuter stations over recent months, with transport links rising back towards the top of many house-hunters’ priority lists following the pandemic.

Bellway says the rise in demand at Hatfield Grove is a result of buyers seeking both a rural location and an easy commute to work.

Jenny Walker, Sales Director at Bellway Essex, said: “The experience of lockdown undoubtedly shifted the priorities of housebuyers, with many people choosing to move out of large towns and cities in search of more space.

“The rise in remote working meant that people were more willing to live further away from work because they no longer needed to commute to the office every day. But while homeworking is here to stay for many, our experience at Hatfield Grove suggests that good commuter links remain a high priority for house-hunters.

“One of the reasons why Hatfield Grove has proved so popular in recent months is that it meets the aspirations of those seeking to combine a village location with easy access to their place of work. It also offers plenty of options for those needing to work from home for at least part of the week, with several of our larger properties featuring a study or a spare bedroom that could be converted into a home office.

“Hatfield Grove could not be in a more convenient location for commuters. It is only a five-minute walk from the development to the platform, from where direct trains depart for London three times an hour at peak times. The journey time to the capital is just over 40 minutes, while Chelmsford can be reached in just six minutes.

“Living within easy walking distance of the station also has its financial benefits. An annual parking pass for Hatfield Peverel station costs £1,591, but unlike many commuters using the station, buyers at Hatfield Grove will have the luxury of being able to leave their car at home.”

A range of two, three and four-bedroom houses are currently available at Hatfield Grove, with prices starting from £337,995.