New Bungalows in Kent

For many, the thought of moving to an “age exclusive” or retirement development can invoke images of safety cords and elderly communities. However, this belies the vibrant and sociable atmosphere often found at such developments. At Terlingham Gardens, an over 55’s development in Hawkinge, Kent, retired couple Bob and Ann Mothersele have found themselves at the centre of a bustling new community, filled with social events, supper clubs and competitive boules and croquet tournaments.

Bob (71), a former Operation Engineer at Dungeness “A” Nuclear Power Station and his wife Ann (65), a former Orthopaedic Nurse, sold up their 1930s semi-detached house of 40 years, for a new-build bungalow at Pentland Homes’ Terlingham Gardens development. The couple say it is the best thing they’ve ever done, equipping them with the tools to live their life to the fullest. 

The couple, who have been married for 43 years and share 2 children and 2 grandchildren, started to consider a move when the upkeep on their previous 4-bedroom home became too much.
Bob comments; “I always said I would consider moving when I reached 72 but we found the on-going maintenance of our old home overwhelming. I would go to bed and think about all the things that needed doing the next day. The garden needed a lot of care, the road was getting over-crowded with cars and the village was getting too noisy for us.”

“In the end, we made the move 2 miles down the road when I was 69. Ann saw an advert for Terlingham Gardens on the back of a local magazine that was put through our letterbox. We went to see the site the next week and instantly fell in love with the place. Too many people leave it too late and I’m so glad we moved when we did.” 

Bob continues; “I always said I’d never buy a new build house, but now I’d never go back. Our new house is modern, warm, energy efficient and well designed. My to-do list doesn’t keep me awake at night anymore; I sleep well!”

Bob and Ann purchased a 2/3 bedroom “Maple” chalet-style bungalow, with a south facing garden that gets sunshine all day long, upstairs and downstairs en-suite bedrooms and a bright, open plan kitchen, living and dining area. The stairs are wider than normal to allow for possible future installation of a stair lift, and space has been allocated in the property if future lift installation is required. 

Keen to cultivate a sense of community in their new neighbourhood, Bob and Ann came together with their next-door neighbour to form the Terlingham Gardens Resident Association (TGRA). Acting as Vice Chairman and Social Secretary respectively, Bob and Ann created the TGRA as a way for fellow residents to raise community concerns and suggestions, as well as a tool for organising social events. 

Ann comments; “It is an incredibly sociable community. There is a lovely green which is bordered by some of the bungalows, and we often meet there with a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of wine in the afternoons. We’ve organised supper clubs, trips to France, to the theatre in London, curry lunches and BBQ evenings, and we already have 40 people signed up for the Christmas dinner. Some residents have said they’ve never had it so good!”

Bob adds; “Many people worry that once they’re behind their doors, they won’t see any see anyone, and that’s just not the case at Terlingham Gardens. There are of course some residents that keep to themselves, but I always say that life is what you make it, and most people here are incredibly friendly and up for a good time. It’s a brilliant place if you’re on your own and worried about getting lonely.”

Ann comments; “We do talk about how happy we are here to our friends and people we meet who come to look around. I’ve recommended Terlingham Gardens to two of my friends from aqua-fit, and both have gone on to buy properties here.”

Bob and Ann are keen for others not to be put off by a development labelled “retirement”. Bob comments; “We don’t think of Terlingham as a retirement village. Many people still work and 90% of us are still very active and sociable. There’s never a day when we’re sat here twiddling our thumbs. We moved a few years earlier than we expected we would, and we’re so glad we did. We see far more people now than we did before; we couldn’t have told you the name of our neighbours down the road!” 

Over the next 3 years, Terlingham Gardens is set to open a new hub for residents, with additional communal space for TGRA’s events, leisure and fitness facilities and a cinema room. The site is gated, quiet and the roads are free of parked cars.

Terlingham Gardens is an over 55’s development in Hawkinge just outside Folkestone. This exclusive gated development houses 2 and 3-bedroom bungalows which have been planned to provide residents with comfort, peace of mind, and can be tailored to meet individual needs. The site is just minutes from Folkestone and the south coast for its fabulous beaches, wealth of shops and leisure facilities. There are excellent bus links and there is a local supermarket, hairdressers, cafe and post office within walking distance. 

Properties at Terlingham Gardens are available from £350,000. For further sales information, please contact Pentland Homes on Tel: 01303 370 129 or email terlingham@pentlandhomes.co.uk / www.pentlandhomes.co.uk