New Lock Up & Leave Homes Suitable for Globe Trotting Retirees
by Environ Communities
Many find that as they reach retirement they want to downsize their home and spend more time travelling. Leaving a home for extended periods of time can be a worry but new homes called ‘The Manor’ at Kings Hill in Kent by eco house builder Environ Communities, could be the answer.
Kings Hill is a well contained and safe community, providing a secure environment for residents to relax and enjoy their home. Security features of the properties include inbuilt locks on the windows and doors, a burglar alarm, external low energy lighting and for the apartments a remote external entrance door access system. There is only one road in and out of the enclave in Kings Hill and regular security patrols keep an ever present eye.
Colleen Knoesen, who retired to Kings Hill four years ago, says “We love to go off travelling in our motor home and never worry about the house when we are away. You seldom hear of any crime on Kings Hill and we feel that it is an incredibly safe place to live.”
One of the most outstanding features of the Manor is the view down a tree lined and landscaped avenue to a 150 acre country park to which residents have direct access. Owners can enjoy walking, cycling or just taking in the beautiful nature surrounding them. Yet the homes are only a ten-minute walk from a lively centre with a number of shops including Waitrose, restaurants, doctors’ surgery, hairdressers and a post office.
For those more active residents, there is also a David Lloyd centre with outdoor tennis courts, and heated swimming pools, as well as a nearby 18-hole golf course and cricket green. The Manor offers an exceptional lifestyle and a truly spectacular place to live in.
This prestigious development is designed to reflect one of the old Kentish manor houses with a wide three-storey central section flanked by a 2 storey building either side, each divided into 2 cottages. The Manor is a collection of finished two bedroom apartments, penthouses and cottages, all generously proportioned and well above the national average size; the cottages are 818 sq. ft. and the two bedroom apartments vary in size from 1051 to 1145 sq. ft.
The homes, designed to an exceptional specification, have light, airy and contemporary interiors with open plan living. All apartments have oak flooring in the living area, fully fitted bathrooms and kitchens and several full height fitted storage cupboards. There are also external store cupboards in the Penthouses’ carports and the apartments’ communal landing- a much needed fixture when downsizing.
The 2 bed cottages start from £327,500, the 2 bed apartments are £365,000 and the penthouses are £397,500.
One advantage of The Manor homes is their low running costs due to their high level of insulation, and they require little heating thanks to a clever heat recovery ventilation system that recovers heat from exhaust air and uses it to heat incoming fresh air whilst removing any stale odours.
The gardens and landscaping of The Manor, using plants specifically suitable for the region and climate, are an eye-catching feature. In addition to the communal garden at the front of The Manor, which includes a formal rose garden with seating arbours, the ground floor apartments and cottages have their own private gardens too. Ground floor apartments feature two planted gardens with an area of stone paving for table and chairs, surrounded by estate railings, formal rose beds and yew hedges. While the cottages each have their own walled landscaped garden to the rear with an area of paving and raised beds. Higher level apartments have decked balconies, which are dressed with planted pots of topiary.
The Manor at Kings Hill is within easy commuting distance of London and is ideally placed for motorways (being just off junction 4 of the M20), airports, channel ports and high-speed rail. There is a regular shuttle bus service to West Malling railway station, where there is a direct train service to London Victoria with an average journey time of 49 minutes. There are also commuter services that run to London Blackfriars.
The Manor homes will be completed in May 2014.
Photos: Captions L-R Interior of an apartment at The Manor, external photo of the Manor, View from the Manor to the Country Park (Feb 2014)
Environ Communities, headed up by Tony Dowse, has recently won an award for ‘Best Small Developer’ by What House? Magazine and was overall UK winner of the coveted Green Leaf Award, amongst others. Environ create lifetime houses with a traditional and timeless beauty: from iconic, modern homes overlooking the Atlantic to spacious, unique family homes in Kentish hamlets and even cosy and peaceful retirement homes in quiet market towns. Attention to detail, landscaped gardens and sense of place and community run through everything they do.
Environ’s modern homes developments aim to achieve a true sense of that old fashioned notion of “community” and this is the reason they are called Environ Communities.