Amber the cat moves in to Churchill's Waltham Abbey

When Rhona Norman decided to move from Thetford in Norfolk back to her home county of Essex, she had one very important consideration – her cat Amber.

Mrs Norman, who moved into Churchill Retirement Living’s King Harold Lodge development in Waltham Abbey in June, needed to find somewhere easy to manage, near her family but, most importantly, somewhere that would allow pets to move in with their owners.

Mrs Norman said: “Churchill is one of the only developers who will let you bring your pet so it’s a huge selling point. There are some rules – you have to have a ground floor apartment - which I wanted anyway, and you have to be responsible – which any animal lover and pet owner would be. I was delighted to find somewhere with such a good pet policy and Amber has settled in very nicely.”

Mrs Norman, who is 75 and a retired shop keeper, has kept Amber in for three weeks to allow her to get used to the new abode. She has now had a cat flap fitted at her brand new one bedroom apartment.

She said: “Amber is really relaxed here, especially now she’s got the freedom to go out. It was hard on her to be kept inside for so long, but it’s important that she knew where she was and now she knows its home.”

Mrs Norman moved from her four bedroom detached home in Thetford to be near to her son in Romford and her brother in Hornchurch. She is delighted with her move.

She said: “I had to do some serious downsizing. I used the removals service arranged by Churchill and they were brilliant – very understanding about the feelings you go through. But it was worth it. I see a lot more of my family now and the location of the development is perfect – it’s near the bus stops and you can walk into the centre of Waltham Abbey easily. I also love the social aspect here. I meet the other Owners for coffee in the lounge and we all get along so well. We’ve even started a film club where we get together to watch some of the old movies especially those with Judy Garland and Doris Day – we love singing along to the musicals.”

King Harold Lodge, located on Broomstick Hall Road in Waltham Abbey, is a stylish collection of one and two bedroom privately-owned retirement apartments. Each apartment has been designed exclusively for those in their retirement years and has a number of safety and security features, such as a 24 hour emergency call line and a video entry system, for complete peace of mind.

There is also an on-site Lodge Manager, who oversees the running of the development, and an Owners’ Lounge, which can be used as a place to enjoy a catch up with like-minded neighbours, or for holding events.

The development is in a central location, just a short distance from public transport links, shops and all the local amenities on offer in Waltham Abbey.

Prices at King Harold Lodge start at £272,950. To find out more, please visit the Show Complex, open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm.