SOME of the first residents of a new multi-million pound retirement living development in Stourport say they are looking forward to "a new lease of life".

Retired Kidderminster couple Gail and Richard Loake and Stourport born-and-bred Kathleen Fox have been the first to find out the £10.5m School Gardens scheme will be their new home.

Construction work on the historic site - formerly belonging to Tan Lane Infants School, then later Stourport First School - is expected to finish by the end of the year, with residents moving in January 2018.

Gail and Richard, who have two grown-up daughters, said their four-bedroom detached property had become difficult to maintain after almost 38 years in the town.

Mrs Loake said: "Gardening was a big hobby of mine, but I am finding it more and more difficult to maintain our garden.

"Once we have moved, we will be able to walk to the pub and go for nice meals and drinks, so it is the community aspect that really appealed to us.

"We looked at a much larger retirement living scheme, but felt that School Gardens is a much better size and because of that we should get to know other residents and make friends quite easily."

Kathleen wanted to release some equity on her current ground-floor flat and said her new one-bedroom apartment would represent a "significant upgrade".

She added: "I really think School Gardens is going to give me a new lease of life - the location is brilliant and I will now be 30 seconds away from one of my daughters.

"I am a very sociable person so for me it is the community aspect and feeling safe which appealed mostly to me.

"It is a worry-free retirement essentially and one of my ambitions has always been to take my two daughters and grandchildren to Austria and go on a cruise with my sister, which I will now be able to do."

School Gardens offers 60 high-quality apartments for people aged 55 and over, as well as a cafe bistro, lounge, activity studio, gym and hair and beauty salon.

A marketing suite and show apartment is open on site and interested people are asked to call 01299 393456.