Young family finds their ‘forever’ home at Woodgate

Abby and James Rooke were really excited to buy their first family home, a place to settle and put down roots before their 3 year old daughter, Isabella, was due to start school.


Abby and James both grew up in Surrey and were renting a property in Horley but quickly decided that West Sussex would suit them better. They had researched new homes across a wide area but they found they kept coming back to Woodgate, Pease Pottage, where award-winning house-builder Thakeham is creating a new village community.

Falling in love with Woodgate

“We wanted somewhere not too busy, with really pretty houses,” said Abby. “As soon as we saw Woodgate, we both loved it. We just had such a good feeling about it. The development is so open, so well designed, there’s Tilgate Forest nearby, lots of open space and the houses haven’t been squashed together which often seems to happen on new developments.

“I like Pease Pottage as it’s a really small village with a nice-looking pub which has good reviews and Crawley is nearby for everything else you could need. There are lots of walks and bike rides right from our house. Isabella rides on the back of James’s bike and we’ve cycled from here to Tilgate Park.”

“We knew this is the time for us to settle in a home to last us for many years to come so we researched the location, Thakeham Homes, and the development, which is when we started to get really excited.

“I love the design, the layout, the wide roads with the houses nicely set back. It’s spread out and already has a nice community feel. With Tilgate Park next door and a new Village Green, this is our long-term, hopefully forever home. And that was all before we stepped inside!”

Woodgate Primary School

At Woodgate, new owners will benefit from a Village Store, Community Hub and a central Coffee Shop, all of which is designed for a sense of belonging within a vibrant community. Thakeham takes pride in creating places where people want to live and thrive, whatever lifestyle they’re looking for.

Thakeham is also constructing Woodgate Primary School, a £4m new school opening this September, 2021.

Education was an important factor for Abby and James Rooke and they carefully researched schools in the area.

“There’s a very good mix of schools in the area, both state and private, so it’s nice to have different options. But for us it was an easy decision with Woodgate Primary School. They’ve really thought out the plan and we’re delighted that the school intends to have a ‘Forest School’ outdoor learning area. It’s just two minutes down the road from our new home so we can walk with Isabella to watch it being built. Isabella loves that – and a little boy who lives over the road will be in the same year as her so they’ll be starting together.”

Friendly sales team

Having decided on Woodgate as the best location, Abby and James spoke to Thakeham’s Sales Consultant Karen Cooper about the different styles of properties available. They liked ‘The Henfield’ design, a spacious family home with the character of a chalet, but they had already been reserved. But when Karen introduced them to ‘The Haslemere’ house type, they could immediately see that the style and accommodation would suit them even better.

“Karen helped us from the outset,” said Abby. “She was really patient and let us make our own decisions without any pressure. I’ve asked lot of questions of her, and her colleague Mark who is also super-friendly, always helpful.”

‘The Halsemere’ house type

The layout of The Haslemere design suited the family perfectly thanks to its open plan kitchen/dining room, plus a separate living room and James would also have a separate downstairs study. He needed dedicated office space and if he returns to commuting full time, then they plan to use the room as a playroom for Isabella.

While working from home, Abby, who works in HR for a Crawley based company, is able to use the third bedroom as her study. The room has a full-height window with a juliet balcony so it’s filled with natural light.

“As we both work full time, we don’t have time to do a project and it’s nice to relax and enjoy our new home from the moment we were given the keys. Thakeham is just brilliant with all the added extras included in the price.

“There’s underfloor heating throughout the downstairs so there are no radiators to impact where furniture can be put. And it’s the little things which have made a big difference, such as each bathroom having a mirror recessed into the tiling. Everything was ready for us including all the flooring laid and all the kitchen appliances fitted.

“Thakeham make your choices really easy with two options, a neutral or grey. We chose the grey. They’ve really thought about how to make it easy for you as there would be just so many decisions otherwise. We’re just so pleased with everything. ”

Help to Buy

The couple chose to use the Government’s Help to Buy scheme to enable them to buy a larger home than they’d otherwise have been able to afford.

“I think Help to Buy is a great scheme,” said Abby. “Getting the deposit together is so hard and Help to Buy really did help as we were able to save the 5% needed. It meant we could buy the house we had set our hearts on. This is a forever home for us.

Proud home owners

“We just can’t wait to have people round. My favourite room is the kitchen/diner, it’s a dream kitchen with french doors out to the garden and a patio that stretches the whole way across the back of the house. Our garden is south facing and really generous so there’s lots of grass for Isabella to play on. I can just imagine Isabella’s birthday parties there in such a lovely big open space.”

As Abby and James found while researching their next home, “We just fell in love with the house and the setting. When we first visited Woodgate, our house was just 2m high and now we’re living in it. It’s been really fun to watch the progress.  We absolutely love it here. You just know when something is right.”


Thakeham’s Marketing Suite and Showhome at Woodgate is open daily by appointment between 10am and 5pm.  View our available homes here.