Sue Brooks and Swanley the cat

When Mrs Sue Brooks moved into her new home at Beechcroft’s Maryland Place development in St Albans, just over a year ago, she brought her cat, Swanley, with her.

Mrs Brooks, who is in her 60s, has owned Swanley, ‘a black moggy’ for eight years and wouldn’t have dreamed of rehousing him. Beechcroft welcomes well-behaved pets at its retirement communities – and this made all the difference to Mrs Brooks.

“Although Maryland Place is a delightful place to live, I wouldn’t have moved here if I couldn’t have brought Swanley with me,” says Mrs Brooks. “There aren’t many other pet owners living here at present but some of my neighbours have animals to stay for a week or two when friends and family go on holiday - and it’s nice for them to be able to do that.” 

Designed for the over 55s, Maryland Place is an exclusive collection of 35 houses and apartments, created on the site of the former Maryland Convent on Townsend Drive, within easy reach of St Albans city centre. Mrs Brooks choose a new house with a sunroom, terrace and private garden – which her pet also appreciates.

“I fell in love with the show house and I chose my new home because it was almost identical,” says Mrs Brooks. “The development is set in beautifully-landscaped, well-stocked, communal gardens - and  St Albans is a lovely place to live with really nice shops.”

Exterior of Maryland Place, St Albans.

The main reason for Mrs Brooks’ move from her former home in North-East London was to be closer to her son and his family - now she lives ‘just around the corner,’ she’s able to see her grandchildren more often.

“Although my family live nearby, I wasn’t able to see them during lockdown, although they left shopping for me. 

Owning a pet is marvelous; they enhance your life and give structure to your day – after all, you have to get up every morning to feed them.”

“Swanley settled into our new home very quickly. I kept him inside for three weeks and Beechcroft gave me permission to put a cat flap in the back door so he is able to get out and about. He’s happy here – and thinks he owns the place.”

Well-behaved pets are welcome at all Beechcroft developments as Angela South, Sales and Marketing Director, explains:

“With over 35 years’ experience of creating retirement developments, we understand the benefits, both mental and physical, of pet ownership and that people who move with their pets tend to settle in more quickly. Moving home at any age is a major life event and having to rehouse a beloved pet would just be too stressful.”

Our retirement communities are set within landscaped and fully-maintained communal grounds and located within easy reach of the countryside or local parks so dog owners will be able to discover some pleasant walks. The majority of our houses and apartments also have a terrace, balcony, roof terrace, private garden – which make them ideal for pet owners.”

Currently, a two-bedroom apartment with a private balcony overlooking the communal gardens is on the market at Maryland Place, priced at £775,000 and three ground floor apartments are also available, priced between £799,950 and £875,000, each with three-bedrooms, a terrace, and private garden.

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