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Peach Place flats represent good value for money says Wokingham councillor

New town centre homes will be available for borough's keyworkers

THE NEW flats at Peach Place are a good deal for the borough, according to Wokingham Borough Council.

The executive member for regeneration said that the £7 million cost of the apartments, which will be made available to key workers, was well below market value for a freehold apartment in a town centre location.

Cllr Philip Mirfin made the comments after the cost was revealed last week.

He added that the council could have made more money by selling the homes at market prices but instead chose to deliver keyworker housing in a prime location.

“This deal represents an excellent investment for the Wokingham Borough as the figure agreed for these apartments is well below market value for a freehold property of this type, quality and location,” he added.

“The council would receive significantly more if these were sold freehold on the open market but remains committed to delivering local keyworker housing.”

He continued: “The Borough desperately struggles to recruit essential workers like police officers, teachers and nurses, and subsidised rental properties like these are a critical part of attracting them to the area.   

“While this is a fixed term 30 year agreement, the apartments can remain as affordable housing for as long as we require after the term ends.

“The break clause simply allows us to regularly review if keyworker housing remains a priority and, if not, sell off the apartments and reinvest the funds in whatever form of affordable housing is the priority at that time.”

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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One Comment

  1. WBC is buying 22 flats in the Town Centre for Key Workers (NHS worker, Firemen etc. )
    Statistics from Zoopla suggest that WBC could get up to 50% more flats if they purchased within Wokingham, but outside the Town Centre itself. For the £7 million Winnersh – 5 extra flats; Woodley – 8 extra flats ;Lower Early 11 extra flats. So that many more key workers housed. And rents are up to £250 less PCM. Presumably the special rents would also be similarly below market price compared with the Town Centre.
    Key workers are often shift workers, and need cars to get to and for work. So with no parking spaces in the town centre they would need to pay £900.68 for a season ticket. Per car.
    So how is this good value for both the ratepayers of Wokingham, and the workers themselves?

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