The magic of Christmas is definitely in the air at Woodgate in Pease Pottage, the flagship joint venture development by Thakeham and Abri, who are creating a new community, complete with a village school, shop, café and community hub.


Thakeham  donated a 20ft Christmas tree which was erected on the new village green, where a special event was held to mark the switching on of the lights. Residents of the new homes got together to arrange for local choirs, including children of the new Woodgate primary school, to sing carols around the tree. There were also stalls for festive food and mulled wine – Santa even dropped by to switch on the tree’s lights!


The Woodgate Steering Group

Laura Daly is one of nine volunteers on the Woodgate Steering Group which organises seasonal community events for everyone to enjoy.


“We each have different skills which is ideal,” says Laura, who is an assistant headteacher at a local primary school. “Between us, we have experience in retail, accountancy and charity fundraising but we’re always keen to hear from volunteers who’d like to join us. It’s a really positive group and we also have a lot of fun. The community spirit at Woodgate is fantastic.”


Laura has already made a wide circle of friends from her near neighbours. “Bringing a community together for celebrations, like the Euros when Thakeham provided a big outdoor screen on the green, or our Halloween event and now Christmas, seems a traditional way of life but it’s been fantastic to meet so many friendly people. We’ve all moved in at roughly the same time so we’re all keen to make Woodgate a great place to belong.  There are lots of young people starting out as well as older families with children so there’s a strong community vibe.”

Falling in love with the Lyra

Initially, it was Thakeham’s architecture and design that first drew Laura to Woodgate. She wasn’t initially intending to buy a home but as soon as she visited with her brother, she fell in love with the 2 bedroom home in the popular Alphium ‘Lyra’ design. Before long, she had secured her new home.

Photography of Lyra Showhome at Woodgate

“The Lyra is plenty big enough for my needs with lots of storage and a brilliant open plan kitchen with a central island unit. It’s perfect for entertaining and we’ve already had lots of get-togethers with the neighbours! It’s such a social space at the heart of the house. I love the way that it’s so open plan and yet there are clearly defined spaces – for the kitchen, dining and relaxing lounge area. It’s a very clever design.”


Each of the homes at Woodgate has been designed by Thakeham with the same keen attention to detail, making them ideal for modern lifestyles. The complete collection of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom high-specification homes offers a choice of sizes, layouts and architectural styles. Surrounded by countryside but with easy access to the M23, Woodgate offers a thriving community with a work-life balance.

Decorating for Christmas

Laura is also a keen follower of interior design and for the finishes in her new home, she chose the grey complementary colour scheme offered by Thakeham at Woodgate. “I was so lucky because soft grey was just the colour theme I wanted. I’ve really enjoyed furnishing the house and getting it ready for my first Christmas here.”


Laura moved into Woodgate in March 2021 and has decorated her home beautifully with homemade festive boughs which she started crafting in October. You can follow Laura’s stunning interior design skills on Instagram at @lyras.woodgatehome which already has more than 5,300 followers.


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A post shared by Laura (@lyras.woodgatehome)


“I love everything about Christmas,” she says. “Even when I came to look around back in February, I was already planning where to put my Christmas tree! In my family, we’ve always put our decorations up early so we can then enjoy lots of celebrations. There’s something so special about this time of year – everyone’s happy, all the lights are up, and it’s fantastic at Woodgate to see that everyone’s made such a special effort. It looks magical.”