Barking Mad


Already know as a nation of pet lovers, the amount of pet owners in the UK continues to grow year on year, with a notable spike during the recent lockdowns. Although how much weight does the love for our four-legged friends have when it comes to buying property? Abode2 explores the idea that being popular with pets can create success on the housing market at The Old Schoolhouse development, which is home to the ‘Perfect Pads For Pets’.

The Old Schoolhouse in Chobham by boutique developer Aitch Group, previously the site of Flexlands School, is the prefect development for those looking to move with their four-legged friends. To date 1-in-4 of the properties at the gated community have sold to homeowners who have dogs, and over 65% of all sales enquiries are from buyers with dogs. A reflection of the abundance of outside garden and communal space provided, and the large number of local walks which are perfect for dogwalkers.

With only two, two-bedroom, homes of the total fourteen properties at The Old Schoolhouse are left available, owners won’t want to miss out on the vast outdoor space and dog friendly amenities on the doorstep.

There are over nine million dogs living in the UK, the largest number of these dogs live in the Southeast of England with over 21% of the population owning a dog, meaning pet friendly developments such as The Old Schoolhouse are in high demand.

Located on Sandpit Hall Road, The Old Schoolhouse is a gated community with three-acres of beautiful gardens, a concierge and tennis court. Currently calling The Old Schoolhouse home are an eight-month-old Dachshund called Maple and of course Maple’s human family, a four-year-old Cockapoo named Wilma and Wilma’s human household and a three-year-old Shih Tzu called Katie.

Set in the heart of Surrey, home to an Area of Natural Beauty and vast open countryside, The Old Schoolhouse benefits from direct access to an ancient woodland on the doorstep, perfect for a short stroll.  For those like Maple, who prefer a longer walk, there are an unlimited number of routes around Chobham Common which, as the largest National Nature Reserve in the southeast of England, spans 1,400 acres. Horsell Common is also within a stones’ throw from The Old Schoolhouse which was basis for H.G Well’s War of the Worlds and provides plenty of walking routes along with the popular Heather Farm Cafe. The development is also gated and set away from the main road meaning that the resident dogs can roam free, safely, and meet each other within the community.

In under a 20-minute walk residents’ dogs also benefit from two dog friendly pubs; The Sun Inn and The White Hart which both boast a lovely mix of local loyal and friendly customers such as Katie and her owners. Also, just a five-minute drive away, or a 35 minute walk is The Four Horse Shoes, another dog friendly pub with two outdoor areas and access to Chobham Common for a pre- or post-pub lunch walk.

For those like Wilma, who like to play fetch, the tennis courts that used to provide the school with much of their outdoor education have been restored to their former green glory with lounge chairs around the outside for spectators along with a new pentanque piste for playing boules. There is also communal outdoor dining area underneath a beautiful pergola, perfect for dogs to meet and enjoy al fresco dining along with their owners.

With its picturesque architecture, charming character and fine cluster of antiques shops, boutique restaurants and gastro-pubs, Chobham is a village much-loved by residents who like to be somewhere that’s peaceful, but very much alive. Within the wider community dogs are also everywhere, including in shops such as at Chobham Flowers. Established two and a half years ago and run by Debbie, Chobham Flowers is a little shop on the High Street that supplies flowers to the church opposite, which dates back to 1080, and stocks a wide variety of plants and gifts. Debbie is ably assisted by Wesley, the miniature Dachshund.

The Old Schoolhouse is also within moments of world-class golf clubs including Chobham Gold Club, a private member’s club with an 18-hole golf course. Just a little further away are golf courses at Foxhills, Sunningdale and Wentworth. Residents of The Old Schoolhouse will able to live a village lifestyle whilst being able to commute into London’s Waterloo in just 28 minutes.

The homes at The Old Schoolhouse have each been named after the trees, plants and shrubs found within the landscaped gardens on site; Oakwood, Hornbeam, Beechwood, Hawthorn, Maplewood, Blackthorn, Alderwood, Willow, Birchwood, Jasmine, Hazelwood, Hazelpine, Viburnum, Hollywood and Oakwood, bringing the countryside influence right to the front door.


The spacious homes, with their open plan living layouts and private gardens are perfect for pets to run around safely inside and outside and for keeping an eye on the whole family.  The two-bedroom 1,625 square foott show home, on sale for £900,000, is split over two floors. Upon entering, residents benefit from an open plan living room and kitchen with floor to ceiling bi-folding glass doors offering access onto a private garden. The Hacker designed kitchen provides integrated appliances by Neff alongside a generous island and breakfast bar.

The bedrooms provide character with eaves and large windows offering views onto the communal landscaped courtyard or the home’s private garden with both providing en-suite bathrooms. The two-bedroom show home was designed by renowed interior design firm Alexander James who drew inspiration from the gated development’s leafy surroundings. The house has been designed with a pallet consisting of muted tones and highlights of deep greens and burnt oranges, creating a warm and cosy environment. The show home enables perspective customers to envision how their homes could look whilst paying homage to the developments surroundings and former use as Flexlands School.

Chelsea Reynolds Director at Aitch Group says “The Old Schoolhouse is set within a countryside village that it makes the perfect home for families and their pets. The shared areas such as the tennis courts, gardens and residents lounge mean that there is a community spirit within the development. We look forward to seeing who will be joining them in the remaining two homes.”

Homes at The Old School House start from £850,000.



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