Anne thrilled with spacious retirement apartment and view of Romsey Abbey

With a long balcony, vaulted ceilings, mezzanine gallery, staircase and two reception rooms you would struggle to believe Anne Gorst had just moved into a retirement flat.

But that's exactly what she's done – having fallen in love with the central location of Fleur-de-Lis in Romsey while the development was being built.

Anne, 82, who moved from Winchester into Renaissance Retirement's over 65s development in November, took the plunge and reserved off plan almost a year ago when the company first released prices.

Anne was adamant it was the right time to downsize. "I think you can put it off and put it off. I wanted to make the move before I was forced into it. I did it on my terms before it became more difficult. It was the right decision. I was fed up with the garden and here I have no worries with any of the maintenance as it's all done for you. Romsey has so much to offer and I love the location of Fleur-de-Lis."

"I got in very early and it was the right thing to do. I couldn't be happier – it's so spacious," beamed Anne. "I love the south west aspect, the balcony, and the high ceilings giving a feeling of even more space. And I've got stunning views of Romsey Abbey."

Anne added: "Looking back on it I was quite brave really! Reserving off plan takes a leap of faith but the apartments look even better than I expected – even more spacious. I was thrilled when I first looked around.

Anne was supported by her three daughters who all live out of the area who joined her in a recce mission to find the most suitable apartment.

Anne was so proud of her new flat she recently held a party for 14 of her friends. Anne added: "They were all very complimentary and we weren't the slightest bit cramped which is amazing considering that number of people in a flat."

Since her move, Anne has enjoyed the social scene at the development including a Christmas party, a New Year's Eve party, coffee mornings and bridge club.

"There's a lovely feel to Fleur-de-Lis. Rachael the concierge is fantastic and I've joined the local U3A. I'm keeping busy, making new friends and doing things at my pace."

The development, built on the former magistrates' court on Duttons Road, is now over 75 per cent sold. Comprising 52 one and two bed apartments, some featuring mezzanine floors, the company has been attracting a wide range of interested buyers.

Renaissance Retirement's sales manager Matt Smith said: "It's a very encouraging start. We are now over 75 per cent sold out and 30 owners have already moved into the development. It's an exciting time for potential buyers having this choice of size of apartment and location."

Matt added: "There is very strong interest in the Romsey area for good quality retirement apartments. Our sales message is clear – 'Who says you need to downsize when you want to move out of the family home?' With apartments up to 1750 sq ft, which is the size of a good size three bed house, we have some very spacious apartments on sale."

Renaissance Retirement claims it's responding to the market with its development which offers bigger more spacious retirement flats.

The luxurious properties will provide an exceptional standard of independent living for those considering downsizing from a larger family home.

The spacious one and two bedroom apartments are impeccably finished with contemporary interiors, whilst owners also have access to an owners' drawing room and landscaped gardens.

Renaissance Retirement has a distinguished history; the company was handpicked by HRH Prince of Wales to build a landmark collection of retirement apartments in the heart of Poundbury, Dorchester.

Noticing a demand for luxury retirement housing, Renaissance Retirement design, build and manage luxury retirement developments, with communal areas meticulously cleaned and maintained to ensure a level of comfort that one would expect in a 4 star hotel.

The company offers a number of added owner incentives and benefits, and Renaissance's complementary SmoothMove Service – which is offered to all owners at no extra cost – has proven particularly popular. This bespoke service includes a dedicated SmoothMove Consultant, who can offer advice and assistance with downsizing, the planning and setting up of their new home, and administrative tasks.

Prices start from £275,000 to £640,000.