WORTHING Borough Council is going to spend £4.4 million converting a disused pub into nine flats and four twobedroom homes (The Argus, January 9).

Now, if my maths are correct, that works out at around £377,000 a unit which, considering that the majority are flats, does not sound to me to be anything like a sensible course of action for the council to be taking.

It could actually spend that amount of money buying homes on the open market, ones that would cost far less than those the council intends to build and, incidentally, would not be sited opposite what is probably the busiest and noisiest railway level crossing in the whole of Sussex, and where the pollution levels from stationary traffic held up there throughout much of the day must be very high.

There are, for example, some detached three-bedroomed houses on the market in the town, situated in more sought-after areas, that cost less than what the council is prepared to spend building these new ones.

The council also claims that spending this amount of money would also save it the £90,000 a year that it currently spends on temporary and emergency accommodation but, again, this does not sound like a good financial deal to me; 4.4 million divided by 90,000 comes out at getting on for 50, and 50 years seems to me to be an awful long time for the council to wait to get its money back.

The borough’s executive member for customer services was quoted by The Argus as saying that this development represents a prudent long-term investment for the council.

I wonder if that will prove to be the case.

Eric Waters, Lancing