Housing boost for elderly in Malmesbury

This Is Wiltshire: Wiltshire Council deputy leader John Thomson, Wiltshire councillor for Malmesbury Simon Killane, and Malmesbury town councillor Bill Blake outside Burnham House Wiltshire Council deputy leader John Thomson, Wiltshire councillor for Malmesbury Simon Killane, and Malmesbury town councillor Bill Blake outside Burnham House

Long-awaited independent accommodation for the elderly is expected to be completed by the summer of 2015.

Burnham House, a former 1970s nursing home in Malmesbury which has been vacant since 2008, will be pulled down in favour of 53 predominantly two-bedroom apartments, of which 35 will be for affordable rent.

The project has been on-going for several years and could only be completed once a housing provider had been chosen. After going out to tender in 2012, Abbeyfield, a housing provider for the elderly, won the contract.

A woman in her 60s from Malmesbury, who wished to remain anonymous, said she and her disabled husband were “thrilled” to see the completion of the plans.

She said: “We’ve known for some time that they were going to transform those flats and it’s just something we are very interested in.

“When these came up my heart just sort of went ‘wow’ because I have a disabled husband and these will be ideal for us.

“We live in a house with stairs and that’s a problem – it’s getting increasingly harder for my husband.”

The scheme will consist of 50 two-bed units and three one-bed homes, of which 35 will be for affordable rent and 18 put up for sale.

In addition to the accommodation, there will be communal facilities including a restaurant, lounge, assisted bathing, hairdressing salon, a spa-like health and well-being suite, laundry and buggy storage.

Guest accommodation will also be built and will cost £15 to £20 per night.

“We have been looking for something like this for a long time,” said the woman. “It’s also close to where my family live so it will be so much easier for us to get help.

“My husband suffered a stroke and it’s getting worse.

“We are independent people, but I am just finding everything a bit harder.”

Burnham House has been empty since residents were moved to Athelstan House four years ago. Work on the stone-clad development is due to begin in June with a completion date set for June/July 2015.

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