A 21-year-old woman got more than she bargained for when she went to check up on the building of her new house — a marriage proposal.

Darren Waldron popped the question to Amy Armstead when the couple were visiting their new home in Walshaw Road, Bury, which is currently being built by Persimmon Homes.

Darren asked the site manager whether the couple could come and view the development, and informed them of his romantic intentions, but told Amy they were going just to have a picture taken before the house was built.

The 22-year-old, who works as a graduate manager at Marks and Spencer, said: “Just before Christmas the realisation hit me that this was our first home, we were starting our future together, and it seemed the right time to ask her to marry me.

“I’m not really known for keeping secrets but I certainly managed to surprise Amy with this one.

“We took our smiley photos at the plot and then just as Amy was about to walk away I stopped her and said this wasn’t really why we were here. Then I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.

“At first she thought I was joking, but when I pulled out the diamond ring she said yes.”

The couple have been together for four-and-a-half years, and currently live in Fishpool.

Amy, who works as a teacher, said she had no idea what Darren had up his sleeve.

She said: “I was a bit shocked, I just said ‘are you joking?’, but I could soon tell he was being serious because he had a ring in his hand!

“I had no idea, I thought we were just going to see the foundations, but it was a nice shock.”

Jan Francis, sales advisor at Persimmon Homes North West, added: “Darren and Amy reserved their new home off-plan, so Darren contacted me to find out how the build was progressing.

"When I said the foundations were in for their house, he explained what he would like to do, the romantic devil.”

The couple both graduated from university recently, and were assisted by the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which aims to make it easier for first-time buyers to get on to the property ladder with a reduced deposit.

Darren added: “It is really exciting to watch our house being built.

“We both finished university and expected it to take quite a long time to save up the deposit for our first home, but Help to Buy made it much more affordable.

“It would have taken us another year to raise a 10 per cent deposit.”