Lord Gardiner meets residents at Wickham Bishops, Essex

Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs visited the affordable homes in Wickham Bishops, Essex during Rural Housing Week 2018. During his visit Lord Gardiner was invited to see the homes that have been secured as part of an innovative partnership involving a local landowner, parish council, developer, and Maldon District Council. He heard first hand from residents how the 12 affordable homes which have been made available for local people, transforming lives, and gave local services a significant boost.

The homes have been sensitively designed and meet high environmental standards. Uniquely no public money was needed, instead a cross-subsidy model was used where market properties developed on the same site helped to provide finance for the affordable homes. The foresight of Maldon District Council in enabling this model through their Rural Exceptions Policy shows what innovative planning can achieve. The market properties also sought to meet a need from older households from within the village that wanted to move to a smaller more manageable home.

Commenting on the visit James Taylor, Development Director and Deputy Chief Executive, English Rural, said: –

“I was delighted to be able to welcome Lord Gardiner on behalf of English Rural and show him the affordable rural homes we have provided. Most importantly the visit focussed on talking to residents who have benefitted from these homes, so that the positive impact on their own circumstances and the wider community could be understood.”

“Rural Housing Week provides an opportunity for English Rural and our peers to highlight the work that we do and ensure that the need for affordable rural homes is recognised. Encouraging politicians like Lord Gardiner to visit examples of what can be achieved forms an important highlight for the week.”

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