Proposals for much-needed affordable housing on a prime town centre site have been backed at Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive this week.
A total of 22 homes being developed at Peach Place as part of the regeneration masterplan for Wokingham town centre will be let to key workers rather than sold on the open market.
The aim is to transfer the properties once they have been completed to a council-owned housing company.
Funding from a number of different Section 106 agreements for affordable housing will be used for the scheme.
Cllr Julian McGhee-Sumner, executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “Good quality, affordable housing is a key priority for the council. Over the next two years, the council is anticipating over 750 new affordable homes to be completed across the Borough.
“It is vital for residents’ health and wellbeing, education and employment as well as supporting the growth of the local economy.
“The provision of key worker accommodation will also assist with the recruitment and retention of staff delivering essential public and private services, for example, teachers, care workers, shop workers and social workers.
“This scheme will help provide good affordable housing for key workers at the earliest opportunity.”
The development at Peach Place is for 22 new-build residential units – four town houses with three bedrooms each, 15 apartments with two bedrooms and three apartments with one bedroom.
In addition, the scheme includes the renovation and refurbishment of four further flats, giving 26 residential units in total.
The four town houses will still be sold on the open market but the remaining apartments provided at 80% of private rents to key workers in the area.
Key workers are public and private sector employees deemed to provide an essential service, such as, teachers, health authority staff, police officers, fire fighters, social service employees, care and nursery workers.
Planning permission was granted for Peach Place in March 2015 as part of the regeneration masterplan for Wokingham town centre.
Work started at Peach Place in January 2017 and is expected to be completed by November 2018.