LIFE’S a beach for retirees Ian and Norma Woodward since moving to a new home in Barnstaple, Devon.

They’ve relocated from a property in Worcestershire built nine years ago to a brand new home at Pickards at Larkbear from Elan Homes.

“While Malvern is very pretty it’s almost in the centre of England and, as I was retiring, we wanted to live closer to the sea,” Ian explained. “Here we are 12 minutes away from the beach.”

Norma added: “We have relatives who live in Brighton and Cornwall and did a south coast tour to see where we liked and what we could afford to buy. We had a tick list of what we wanted in terms of the layout of the house and the amenities nearby.”

Ian, 68, is a retired sales director, while Norma, 63, is a retired midwife.

“We’re both in good health but as we’re getting older, we didn’t want to be miles from a hospital, Norma said.

“We are quite active and enjoy walking so wanted good coastal and in-land walks and a train station, with shops not far away.”

The couple found that because they were 130 miles away some second-hand properties they were considering were under offer before they could arrange a viewing.

When they first visited Elan at Pickards at Larkbear their home was already up to the damp course.

“Because we weren’t local, we ended up doing all of the paperwork via email with Jane Steele the area sales manager,” Ian recalled. “She was brilliant and everyone we’ve met at Elan has been really good.”

Norma added: “The site manager sent us photos of the build as it progressed and would tell us what was happening over the next few weeks with our house.”

Their new home is a four-bedroom detached Harborough style home.

“We specifically wanted a house laid out like the one we lived in before with a dining kitchen and separate lounge,” Norma explained.

The kitchen/diner runs the full width of the rear of the property, with French doors opening onto the garden, while the lounge is at the front. Upstairs, the main bedroom benefits from an en-suite, leaving the family bathroom to serve the remaining three bedrooms.

“We wanted a modern energy efficient house and looked at several new build sites and struck it lucky with Elan as they offered the layout we were looking for,” Ian added.

“It’s certainly well-insulated – we’ve been sleeping with all of the upstairs windows open.”

The Elan homes at Pickards at Larkbear are part of a wider 820-home new neighbourhood being developed across a 58-acre site, off Old Torrington Road

The overall scheme will also include a new primary school; local centre with potential uses including a small shop, surgery, pharmacy and community hall; there will also be acres of open space and woodland, plus cycle paths and other facilities.

For more information or to make an appointment with the sales team to view the Dunham show home see

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