Family quit the London bustle to embrace waterside living at Rochester Riverside

Purchasing family sitting on a sofa at Rochester Riverside

Calin Dragut, 52, and his family had been living in a rented two-bedroom house in Woolwich, south London for two years when a friend of theirs invited them over to see the new home he had recently purchased at Rochester Riverside.

The new Countryside and Hyde development on the banks of the River Medway swept the family off their feet. “Everything at Rochester Riverside seemed to be in the right place, and it instantly felt like home, even though we weren’t looking to buy at the time. We also went on a walk around the town and immediately fell in love with the high street, dotted with small independent shops, and dramatic views over Rochester Castle and the cathedral,” said Calin.

A week later, Calin was on his way back to Rochester on a mission to find out more about the regeneration scheme and the homes on offer. “I was relieved to find out that a few three-bedroom houses were still available,” he said. Coming from a construction background, Calin was impressed by the quality of finishes and the level of product knowledge demonstrated by the Countryside staff. “The quality of build and finishes was simply impeccable, and I could tell they’d used good materials throughout. After that follow-up visit, I made a decision to buy my first home there without having seen anything else,” admits Calin. As a result, the family put down an offer for a three-bedroom Shelduck house, available with Help to Buy, which they liked because of its clever layout and abundant space.

One of the best things about Rochester Riverside, in Calin’s words, is its waterside location, which reminds him of the place he was born. Having lived in Romania along the River Danube, the second largest in Europe, and being close to water, Calin appreciates the benefits of waterside living especially for his health and wellbeing - so it’s hardly surprising that Rochester Riverside instantly felt like home.

Having access to water is wonderful. In addition, there’s plenty of greenery, and I often see foxes when I leave the house early in the morning. We have definitely missed being close to nature when we were living in the capital,” he said.

The community aspect was also an important part for the family. “Because of what our friend who lives here had told us, we knew we would be buying into a real community. It has a cosmopolitan feel, and people around here are nice and friendly. We are lucky to have been able to purchase a home, not just a house,” said Calin.

Another advantage of Rochester is its proximity to London and excellent transport links on the doorstep. Having previously driven to his workplace in Battersea, Calin is now able to free up some time whilst commuting into London by train, with Rochester train station being less than a five-minute walk away.

Rochester Riverside recently opened an on-site Co-op supermarket, Travelodge and Costa Coffee. Over the next 12 years, Countryside and Hyde will be providing new homes and facilities for local residents and the wider Rochester community by unlocking what used to be an industrial site along the River Medway.