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EXG JUN 14 RETIREMENT - Credit: Archant

Although retirement living can have a negative stigma, this couldn’t be further from the truth in the vast majority of cases. Lily Floyd reveals why Essex is a good and attractive place to retire to

WHETHER you desire a private home, are keen to meet new friends or want to keep your independence, retirement living can accommodate all your personal needs and requirements through the range of options available as you look for somewhere to live in your twilight years. With an array of accommodation available across the county, Essex offers the perfect opportunity for you to settle down or downsize in your ideal home.

Deirdre Gann, 91, has lived in Essex for more than 70 years and moved into an independent retirement property after her husband passed away. Deirdre says: ‘I have lived in Essex for many years and I moved to the Hawthorns in Braintree three years ago. Until then I was living on my own and I didn’t want to move too far as I wanted to be near my friends and family. Here you get lots and lots of company, which is always nice, and it offers great food, a great lifestyle and everything is available to you.’

The Hawthorns provides an individual retirement option combined with independent lifestyle for residents. The self-financing community offers a selection of one and two-bedroom apartments and spacious studio suites, which include en suite facilities, built-in wardrobes and cupboards, as well as some homes with balconies and patios. Other facilities include a wonderful dining room, a coffee lounge, an activities room with snooker table, a library, a unisex hairdressers and beauty salon, a private coach and spacious, landscaped gardens.

This unique lifestyle promoted by The Hawthorns is founded on the principles of respect, dignity and choice, all available in a safe and secure environment with everything on your doorstep. The development offers continued independent living, so there are not the concerns of home ownership and there is total flexibility to allow you to change your lifestyle at a month’s notice. A monthly rental payment covers rent, all utility bills, meals, housekeeping, Council Tax, 24/7 emergency cover and much more.

Everyday living can be stressful and a key concern for many retired people is the worry of repairs and maintenance. Retirement accommodation provides a safe, sociable and supportive environment, no concerns over building maintenance and a level of care and support to help people live independently for longer and let them enjoy the finer things in retirement.

Priory Hall Retirement Village in Halstead is a new site run by Hallmark Developments that has a range of nearby sporting facilities including a bowls club, an adjacent local leisure centre and Colne Valley Golf Club, which offers reduced green fees for the residents at Priory Hall Retirement Village.

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Recently Priory Hall has undergone a renovation to form a new central hub for the village called The Orangery, which will provide a residents’ lounge offering a whole range of activities.

‘For many people, retirement offers the perfect opportunity to dedicate time to their chosen sport or even take up a new one,’ says Hallmark Developments’ Steve Everington.

It is vital to the majority of individuals to keep their independence and be able to get around if they want to. The market town of Halstead has a vibrant High Street, theatre and library, and is well connected by local transport links.

Steve adds: ‘It was really important to us to make sure that as well as offering beautiful new homes with fantastic facilities, Priory Hall also has a great range of local activities too.’

If you are looking for a flat that is self-contained and unfurnished, but provides safe residential community and affordable rents, The Enterprise in Chingford might be a more suitable solution for you. The Enterprise is managed by The Housing and Community Association, a self-financing housing association registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1893 as an exempt charity. It is a non-profit organistaion, which works for the benefit of the community in providing and managing housing.

Tony Masella, chairman at The Housing and Community Association, explains: ‘We remove the worries of unexpected bills associated with the headaches of owning your own home. Our aim is to keep our monthly rents low, with our studio and one-bedroom flats all self-contained and designed for independent living. We offer a retirement complex with a shop, laundry, bar, restaurant, library, games room, a three-acre garden and various social events.’

Enterprise House provides 188 retirement flats for rent spread across eight floors and is serviced by a lift. Mike Osborne, a resident at Enterprise House, has lived all over the country and believes Essex is the best place to retire to.

Mike says: ‘I moved here in November 1997 as some of my friends were living here, so it made my decision easy. It gives you the opportunity to get involved with many activities and functions that take place and you have everything you need within one building. It’s great as you don’t have a responsibility in maintaining the building. Obviously you pay a service charge, but you don’t have to worry about the bricks and water. Everyone can do as they wish here and if you like to interact with other people, it’s a great place for you.’

Some retired folk are looking just to downsize from the family home and move to something more appropriate. If you are searching for something to buy that offers exclusivity and provides a variety of necessities, from a hair salon to care facilities on the premises, Moat Park retirement village in Great Easton could be an ideal option for you to meet those needs in your later life.

A new development at Moat Park is Maynard House, a self-contained collection of apartments set behind a majestic Neo-Georgian facade overlooking mature parkland grounds.

As well as an apartment, there is a clubhouse, which is an exclusive element for the use of Maynard residents. The dining room can serve breakfast as well as a three-course lunch or evening supper, while a mini bus can be booked for shopping or theatre trips.

Sarah Burgess, sales and marketing director at Retirement Villages Group Ltd, says: ‘We already have a very popular care home at Great Easton, so it made sense to expand our offering in Essex with the opening of an independent retirement scheme. This is Maynard House, 26 one and two-bedroom apartments which are now nearing completion. Our two schemes complement each other and both sit within the beautiful parkland setting of the Moat Park retirement village.’

The bespoke Maynard House project is designed to offer a wider range of living options for retired people in the area. The 26-apartment development represents one of the first privately-built schemes of its type in the town and will provide a much-needed source of private retirement properties for rural Essex.

Sarah adds: ‘Essex as a retirement location is perfect — the semi rural setting of our village makes it very appealing to the older age group and we have been inundated with enquiries from as many local people as those living further afield who want to return to their roots. It is also popular with, local families who can see the benefit of having their older parents living closer by.’

Find out more

The Hawthorns

Meadow Park

Tortoiseshell Way



01376 335500


Hallmark Developments

The Barn

Monument Offices

Maldon Road Woodham Mortimer Maldon CM9 6SN

01621 857435


Priory Hall Retirement Village,

Dame Mary Walk



01787 273737


Moat Park

The Moat House

Dunmow Road

Great Easton


01371 870192


Housing and Community Association Enterprise House 112 Kings Head Hill Chingford E4 7NB

020 8524 0318


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