16 Jul 2012

Corsham community stalwart remembered

The completion of a £5m GreenSquare housing development in Corsham has been celebrated with the unveiling of a street name sign honouring local GP Dr William Burrowes, who had served the local community for 62 years when he died last year.

The 43-home scheme has been developed on former industrial land at Pound Mead by the housing group GreenSquare. Its construction firm, Tidestone, built the properties – a mixture of one and two-bed coach-houses, and two, three, and four-bed semi-detached and terraced houses. The project was funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, with support from Wiltshire Council.

Dr Burrowes first came to Corsham in 1949 as a locum GP and never left – retiring, from The Porch Surgery in the town, after 36 years. In retirement, he continued for a number of years as a locum in numerous practices in the surrounding area. An active member of the Corsham community, he was involved in a wide range of local organisations in addition to his medical work. He was a founder of Corsham Link and a vice-president of Corsham Cricket Club, chair of the governors of the Regis School and the County Primary School, and was president of the Corsham Gardeners Society, Corsham Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade, and of the Corsham Branch of the Royal British Legion.

His widow, Mrs Nancy Burrowes, joined GreenSquare’s development director Vic O’Brien to unveil the road sign at the new Burrowes Close.

She said she was delighted to take part in the event and that her late husband would have been pleased too: “He has been recognised for his work in the past and was always pleased that people felt this way and that he'd been able to help the community,” said Mrs Burrowes. “However he was always surprised about receiving recognition as he never sought or expected it. He was just in love with Corsham and the community and was so pleased to contribute to Corsham and to be part of any community occasion.”

“These great new homes have been built on land that was previously occupied by scruffy, disused warehouse buildings,” said Vic O’Brien. “We're really pleased that the development will be an asset to the Corsham community for years to come, improving the landscape of this site and providing much-needed high-quality affordable housing of local people.

“Many people are unable to buy a home at the moment, with mortgage funding out of reach to those who do not have a significant deposit. This is why we're particularly glad that some of these new homes are part of an intermediate rent scheme and offered for around 20% less than the typical market cost of an equivalent home.”

One of those benefiting is Helen Leighton-Jones, who was one of the first to move into Burrowes Close. “It’s lovely to be here,” she said. “We’ve been living with my mum recently, but it’s great to now have our own space and our own home. I’ve lived here in Corsham all my life, and living here means I’m still close to my Mum and I can walk my daughter to pre-school. It’s great!”

Tidestone took just over a year to build the homes, starting in February 2011 with completion in April this year. The project was shortlisted for the LABC Excellence Awards, which recognise excellence achieved through building standards.

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