MORE than £1m worth of retirement apartments were sold in the opening week of a controversial new complex.

Some 50 people attended the grand opening of the new Renaissance Retirement block in Wantage last week and four apartments were reserved on the day.

More than 40 per cent of the block has now been sold.

The sales are significant because some opponents of the scheme had questioned the demand for retirement apartments in the town.

The development, built on the former Wantage magistrates’ court and police station on Church Street, comprises 32 one and two-bedroom apartments.

Wantage Town Council and the team behind the Wantage Neighbourhood Plan opposed the development, hoping the area could be developed into shops and offices.

However Vale of White Horse District Council's planning committee voted to approve the scheme six votes to five in June 2015.

Then Mayor of Wantage St John Dickson said he was 'amazed' by the decision.

Renaissance sales director Matt Smith said the early sales were 'a very encouraging start', adding: "There is very strong interest in the Wantage area for good quality retirement apartments."