Down in Lyme Regis a new development called Woodberry Copse promises high quality homes in one of England's most captivating coastal towns.
Is there a more evocatively-named town in Britain than Lyme Regis? The very sound of the place conjures up images of one of our most irresistible coastal towns, with higgledy-piggledy streets lined by quirky shops and charming cafés, meandering down to the medieval harbour and the fossil-strewn beach below.
The town has been made famous in literature and film – appearing most memorably in Jane Austen’s Persuasion and John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman – but its fame is no new phenomenon. Lyme Regis has been a hugely important south coast town for a thousand years, mentioned in the Domesday Book. Even its royal charter is ancient, having first been granted by Edward I, with Longshanks giving his seal of approval to the town in 1284.
While these associations spring easily to mind when thinking of the town, however, what doesn’t naturally occur is the idea of new build homes going up in this ancient and picturesque spot. Yet that’s exactly what one developer, Bloor Homes, is doing with Woodberry Copse.
In years gone by, new build developments have all too often involved rows of identikit homes put up quickly and cheaply with little thought about the environment in which they sit. Thankfully, things are changing, and Bloor have made genuine efforts to ensure that these new homes enhance the town rather than detract from its charms.
Those efforts begin with the setting itself: the trees which gave Woodberry Copse its name have been retained as far as possible, and new trees have also been planted across the six-acre development. Then there’s the architecture, which makes a definite nod towards the Arts and Crafts movement in the lines and proportions of the various four and five-bedroom homes available.
Though the homes are based on a variety of standard floorplans, there are individual touches both inside and out – and particularly inside, the homes are also a cut above what you might expect: high ceilings, well-proportioned rooms filled with light and fittings and fixtures of very high quality. Symphony kitchens are fitted, while Roca sanitary ware is used in the bathrooms.
Being a new-build, of course, part of the charm is that you can specify exactly what you want and where, room-by-room. Bloor even allow buyers to visit their new house ahead of its completion, to make sure that things are just as they’d like. It’s an incredibly sensible idea that we can imagine being very important in avoiding any tinge of disappointment when you pick up the keys, as buyers will know that they’re happy with everything from carpets and kitchen tiles to the shelves in the airing cupboard.
All the usual benefits of buying a new-build home also apply. You know, for example, that the place will be immaculate when you move in. And you also know that you’ll get a warm and friendly reception from the neighbours: after all, the very fact that you’ve all moved to the same place at the same time gives you’ve something major in common. The sense of community at Woodberry Copse, we’re told, is already developing beautifully.
The usual purchasing headaches are also alleviated by the developers. Bloor have various schemes to help ease the process – including a part-exchange option for those who have had trouble finding a buyer for their existing property. You’ll also get the usual 10-year NHBC guarantee in the case of issues with the construction. As charming as the properties in the centre of the town are, none of them could hope to compete with that sort of peace of mind.
Speaking of the centre of town, the very compactness of Lyme Regis means that even on a new development you’re still not far away from doctors, shops and schools – including Woodroffe School, recently rated ‘Outstanding’ by Oftsed. And for more entertaining options Woodberry Copse is a little over half a mile to the harbour, making it an easy stroll whether you’re looking to pop down to the old-school cinema, nip in to one of the charming Dorset pubs or take a stroll along the stunning beach looking for fossils on the Jurassic Coast.
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