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.”