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Builder puts his personal stamp on old post office
Published 23/12/13

OUR featured property this week is no stranger to a busy festive period having once been the village post office in Nettlebed. Over the years, thousands of Christmas cards would have been sent from the property which is now being restored to its former glory as a residential home.

Manorgrove Homes bought the site two years ago and have built six new-build cottages nearby.

Along with the plot came the old village post office which only stopped trading a month before when the business was moved to a larger location within the village.

And now, as the last phase of the project, the post office has become a labour of love for Manorgrove Homes’ Steve Britnell.

Steve said: “It has been quite complicated being within a conservation area. It was extended in the Seventies with what can only be described as a hideous two-storey, flat-roof extension which did little for the aesthetics of the property.

“When that came down it had affected some of the original structure which had to be put right first.

“With old buildings you really never know quite what you are going to get but it has become a labour of love for us now.”

Steve added that he has received much positive feedback from the locals, delighted that the building will be more pleasing to the eye.

“They certainly weren’t enamoured with what was there before,” he said.

“We hope it has become a win-win situation. It had been trading as a post office before we acquired the site with vacant possession. The post office had been relocated to bigger, better premises within the village and this property is to be returned to a residential home, the use it was originally intended for.”

The restoration has seen a new single-storey extension go up to create a large living space with vaulted ceiling and French doors out on to the rear garden, a space that is sure to become the focal point of the property whose accommodation includes three bedrooms, three reception rooms, a cellar, garden and off-street parking.

On the ground floor the entrance hall leads through to a family room, with access down to the cellar. At the front of the property is a well-proportioned sitting room, and at the rear, a fabulous open-plan kitchen/living area. On the first floor there are three double bedrooms, the master with ensuite shower room, and a separate family bathroom.

Manorgrove Homes is well known for building impressive one-off homes with thousands of square feet, yet despite its size, the post office has received the same attention to detail. Wherever possible the original timber beams have been retained and exposed, as have the original wooden floors. However, complementing the character features will be a contemporary kitchen and sanitaryware.

Steve added: “Because our usual properties have a very high specification of fixtures and fittings, we have followed that through with this property including underfloor heating on ground-floor level and natural stone floors and granite work surfaces.”

Steve has worked with his team for a number of years, building up a group of quality tradesmen and craftsmen who take a real pride in their work so whoever buys the post office will be confident in the knowledge that everything has been built to a high level.

Outside to the front of the property is off-street parking, while at the rear is a patio/dining area leading to a west-facing enclosed garden.

The Old Post Office is being refurbished by Manorgrove Homes. For more information, visit www.manorgrovehomes.co.uk

Steve is hoping the property will be ready for its new special delivery by February.

The property is available through Davis Tate for a guide price of 595,000. For more details, call (01491) 412345.

Published 23/12/13

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