Exclusive Living for the over 55s

The Croft communities developed by Larkfleet Homes for the over-55s provide economic, health and social benefits – and not just for the residents.


The Benefits

Developments under Larkfleet’s The Croft brand are designed and built to provide the over-55s (whether retired or still working) with independence based on owning and living in their own homes combined with the health and social benefits of being part of a community. 

Research by organisations such as The Joseph Rowntree Foundation demonstrates that communities such as The Croft – with their opportunities for social interaction and engagement – can reduce social isolation, with consequent benefits to health, well-being and quality of life. 

Living in purpose-built and efficiently heated housing removes many of the difficulties and dangers of living in inappropriate accommodation, in particular the risk of falls.

Beyond its boundaries, The Croft helps to address the current shortage of family homes by releasing under-occupied properties as older people ‘down size’.


The community

Research has shown that communities such as The Croft can provide a wide range of different resident-led interest groups and the benefits of a wider pool of people from which to draw friends and companions.

Studies have also found real community support for residents. For example, neighbours will often collectively provide assistance with activities such as shopping and meal preparation for people coming out of hospital. The community as a whole will provide support for its members through formal or informal ‘neighbourhood watch schemes’ and similar arrangements.


The economics

Many residents at The Croft have banked substantial amounts of money to fund their new lifestyle by selling a family home which is much larger than their current requirements. The difference between the sale price of that home and the purchase of a property at The Croft can release cash for buying a car, travelling the world or putting money into investments to give a continuing income. It provides the financial freedom to pursue a lifestyle that may not previously have been possible.


Downsized living

All the homes at The Croft are designed for minimal upkeep, external maintenance is provided and there are services such as handyman and cleaning available if residents need them, as well as the services of a full time estate manager. The spacious grounds and gardens are tended by staff to keep the whole development immaculate.

Some of the homes at The Croft at Baston have gardens for residents who wish to have their own. There are also allotments which provide an option for taking on a horticultural challenge that can later be handed back if looking after it becomes too much hassle.


Community facilities

At the centre of The Croft is a community facility which provides a comfortable lounge, rooms for clubs and societies to undertake activities and space to simply meet friends and relax.



Larkfleet's first development under The Croft brand won a Silver Award in the keenly-contested Best Retirement Development category in the prestigious 2014 WhatHouse? Awards. The judges were highly impressed. They said: “It can certainly legitimately claim its community status – a crucial ingredient in retirement living, allowing residents to be as sociable or as private as they like.”

Life is never dull at The Croft, something judges were quick to pick up and comment on: “Resident activities are key drivers in the success of such communities”.

They were particularly impressed by the “flexibility and balance” as well as the “elevational treatments” of the properties and added: “but it is the warmth of the development’s whole streetscape and use of enclosed spaces that strikes you most.”

Some of the finer points illustrating Larkfleet’s attention to detail also earned praise. “There are obvious but thoughtful touches, such as raised beds in the garden to make it easier for residents to tend flowers and vegetables,” judges added.

The following year The Croft at Baston was shortlisted in the same award and was named runner-up in the HouseBuilder Awards for best retirement housing. 


Purchase options

Several purchase options are available to help make moving into The Croft developments easy and stress-free. Larkfleet offers part-exchange packages and an ‘assisted move’ option with help given to homebuyers to sell their existing homes. A ‘secure home purchase’ scheme and equity deals on selected plots are also available to potential homebuyers.


Future developments

Larkfleet is looking for new sites for future developments under The Croft brand as described here. We are guided by what potential purchasers say when choosing sites so if you would like us to build The Croft in a particular location please let us know.












What the residents say

Sylvia Cook moved into a two-bedroom bungalow at The Croft from a large three-bedroom property with an extensive garden and “has not looked back since”. Mrs Cook was drawn to The Croft development because of the secure community environment it offered. She said: “My previous property was located in a fairly isolated cul-de-sac that looked onto extensive open fields. I feel much more secure at The Croft and I have made great friends with my neighbours. At The Croft, I have the security of close neighbours but the design of the development also means my property is in a nice quiet area, secluded from the hustle and bustle of Bourne. “Unlike other age-exclusive developments that I looked at, the properties at The Croft are well laid out, not in large blocks that I have seen so often before.”

Albert and Rea Sains bought their new Larkfleet Homes property after Mr Sains attended an antiques valuation event held at The Croft – one of many activities staged in the community facilities – and decided to take a quick tour of the show homes.

Albert explained: “I didn’t originally intend to view the development as we had no plans to move but there was a long queue to see the antiques experts so I decided to take a look.

“I was immediately impressed with the design and standard of the properties and I thought the lifestyle on offer at The Croft was really appealing. I knew immediately that I had to come back with my wife and show her around. When we returned, Rea completely agreed with me and we decided to take the plunge and buy.

“By downsizing we could not only release some capital which was tied up in our old home but also benefit from having a new home with less maintenance and a more manageable garden. In addition, we could see that buying at The Croft offered us the security of knowing our home would still be suitable for us later on in life and we wouldn’t need to move again.”

For Margaret Pearce, buying her new chalet style bungalow at The Croft was an opportunity to return to her roots. Having grown up in the market town, it seemed like fate when Margaret and her cousin spotted the development on a nostalgic visit to some of their childhood haunts and decided to take a look.

Margaret said: “When we drove by and saw that there was a new development being built for the over 55s, we decided that we must take a look. I no longer liked the area in Peterborough that I was living in and the idea of returning to Bourne really appealed to me.

“As soon as I saw the showhome I was taken by it. All the rooms were really well laid out and the development itself was presented in a very attractive way with lots of different property types spread around landscaped courtyards. I immediately knew that I had to see whether I could make the sums add up.”

Margaret was able to part exchange on her old bungalow as well as benefit from a 25 per cent shared equity deal on her new home at The Croft.

“I still have my own home and the independent life I always had but I now have a home that will adapt with me as I get older, enabling me to continue living the life I live now for the foreseeable future.”

Mr & Mrs Austin moved into their new Larkfleet house at The Croft in Baston last year.

Mr Austin said: “We are enjoying our new home very much. We are relatively local, having lived in Folkingham previously, but we have found a like-minded and friendly community at The Croft. Our bungalow completely lives up to our expectations and we are loving living here.”

Mr Austin and his wife looked at a number of retirement development options and found The Croft at Baston fitted the bill best. They enjoy the spacious layout and wide walkways at the development which they feel give a feeling of space and openness.

One of the additions the couple have made to their home is to install Citygrass, a type of artificial lawn covering, to their garden. As Mr Austin points out, it offers a maintenance and weed-free surface which looks great throughout the year!

Mr & Mrs Diver moved into their new Larkfleet home at The Croft in Baston last year. The Croft is an age exclusive development offered by Larkfleet Homes. With varied house styles and private gardens on offer, The Croft appealed to Graham and Sue immediately.

Graham is a keen railway enthusiast and has built model railways as a pastime for many years. Having a brand new garden at his disposal proved to be just too much of a temptation and Graham has built a brand new track model railway!

The initial work was started last year and the project was recently finished as the last of the landscaping and planting was completed.

The initial work included marking out the track route and layout, building the foundations and walls. Laying the track circuits came next with inner and outer circuits, a passing loop and sidings. Following a brief pause for a holiday, the engine sheds were added to the sidings and a couple of stations and buffer stops completed the scene.

The final landscaping and planting was completed very recently and the trains are now ready to start rolling.

Graham says: “We were very happy with the choice of houses at The Croft. Obviously, what really swung it for me was having a garden large enough to house a new railway layout.”


More Information

Larkfleet is looking for new sites for future developments under The Croft brand as described here. We are guided by what potential purchasers say when choosing sites so if you would like us to build The Croft in a particular location please let us know.