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Thinking of downsizing? One couple had no problem finding the right solution

They chose the new development in The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells

Recent reports have revealed that more than three million older people want to downsize their property, but have shelved their plans due to a lack of choice over suitable accommodation. One couple that did not have this issue are Richard Burrell (74) and wife Caroline (73) who have downsized to their dream home. They bought one of the best positioned, three-bedroom penthouses at the highly sought-after 1887 The Pantiles Dandara development in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Richard, a retired jeweller whose family has run Burrells Jewellers for almost 60 years, says: “After having lived in some of the best addresses in Tunbridge Wells for more than 25 years including Calverley Park, Hungershall Park and, most recently, Nevill Park, we knew as soon as we saw the Dandara development that it would be perfect for our next move. We hadn’t seen any other development like it before.”

He adds: “We wanted to downsize, but only for something that would provide us with a high-quality build. The penthouse we chose at 1887 The Pantiles gave us exactly that. We loved that it also had outdoor space, we chose one with a huge terrace and the best view in the development overlooking The Pantiles.”

Situated in the heart of Tunbridge Wells’ beloved Georgian Colonnade, 1887 The Pantiles compliments its historic and pedestrianised setting with elegant architecture. Built on the site of the notorious ‘The Pump Room’, a 19th century live music hall and jazz club, which was once the centre of the spa town’s cultural scene, the development now offers an exclusive collection of 127 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom mews homes and eight show-stopping penthouses.

When completed this winter, residents will benefit from a purpose-designed outdoor cultural space, where they can come together to enjoy live performances and events. The development aims to honour and celebrate the cultural impact of its namesake, restoring the local passion for music, art, and fashionable entertainment. Residents will also be able to enjoy a range of top-class facilities including a stylish resident’s reception, 24/7 concierge service, landscaped courtyard gardens, underground parking, sizeable balconies or terraces and separate indoor community space that can be used to host parties.

The couple in The Pantiles pedestrianised area

The properties at 1887 The Pantiles have high quality interiors such as fully fitted German kitchens with stone worktops and Amtico Spacia vinyl flooring. Each home is highly insulated, with quality double glazing installed, and the latest energy efficient central heating and hot water systems.

Richard continues: “We always knew we wanted to stay in Tunbridge Wells and The Pantiles is such a beautiful and special place to live in the heart of the town. It has a huge array of thriving eateries and an eclectic range of chic and independent shops. I have been in the jewellery industry for almost 60 years and had my shop in Tunbridge Wells for 25 years. Although my daughter has now taken over the ownership, it is still nice to be in the area where we have the shop.”

Richard adds: “The location of the penthouse is perfect for what we want and need now, and we see ourselves living here hassle-free for a long time. It is ideal for us not having to drive as all the amenities are on our doorstep. If we do need to travel further afield, a five-minute walk takes us to Tunbridge Wells station.”

The rail station in Tunbridge Wells provides access to towns across Kent and Sussex, or to the coast and beyond. Journeys towards London are fast and frequent taking just 55 minutes to London Charing Cross and 44 minutes to London Bridge. Ashford International (Eurostar) is also less than an hour away with the Channel Tunnel and ferry services via Dover, less than 90 minutes. Scenic walks can be taken from the town itself into the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Louise Norman, associate sales & marketing director at Dandara South East, says: “Once the epicentre of fashion, the site for our 1887 The Pantiles development is set for a revival, and will serve the community as a home, cultural centre and meeting place. It is no wonder that it attracts local downsizers like Richard and Caroline, looking to be a part of this fashionable buzzing new community. While this landmark development has been inspired by the past, it is designed for the future.”

There is just one penthouse remaining at £1,060,000, but prices for other properties at the development range from £299,950 for a one-bedroom apartment to £535,000 for a two-bedroom one. For further information or to arrange a viewing please visit www.dandara.com or call 01892 726 112.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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