A major new town centre housing development will include 81 ‘affordable’ homes for ‘local residents’ as part of an agreement hailed by Bracknell Forest Council.

The council and housing developer Countryside Partnerships are building a 169-home housing block on Market Street, on the site of the old bus station. Councillor Paul Bidwell – responsible for regeneration – said this would provide ‘affordable’ homes for local residents.

He said: “The work at Market Street, which is a derelict site, is a significant step forward in creating 81 new affordable and social rent homes for local residents, which we really need.”

Under the agreement, some 48 per cent of the new homes will be designated as ‘affordable housing.’  This means that 52 of them will be let by housing association Abri to people on Bracknell Forest Council’s housing waiting list.

READ MORE: Huge plans to change the face of Bracknell town centre

Another 29 will be sold under a ‘shared ownership’ scheme, where the resident pays a mortgage to partially-own the home, but continues to pay rent on the rest.

However this is fewer affordable homes than the council had initially hoped would be provided.

Bracknell Forest Council originally wanted 56 per cent of the homes to be provided as affordable – but this was reduced to 48 per cent in April last year by previous leader Paul Bettison.

Speaking in June last year, Mr Bettison told the News this was due to increased construction costs. And the council said the decision came after ‘feedback’ from housing associations interested in buying some of the homes.