English Rural’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the development of affordable homes at Mackmurdo Place, Essex on 11th April 2018. This highly-regarded project represents the delivery of the innovative ‘‘Village Homes – Something for Everyone” model initiated by Wickham Bishops Parish Council in partnership with English Rural. With the support of the local landowner, Maldon District Council and the Rural Community Council for Essex, a scheme evolved comprising 27 homes in total, including 12 affordable homes for local people and 15 market homes also marketed at local households. The affordable homes provided by English Rural include houses, flats and bungalows, both for rent and affordable home ownership. The entire project has been delivered without any public subsidy, through a cross-subsidy agreement with the landowner and developer of the open market properties. HRH The Princess Royal took the opportunity to view one of the affordable homes before unveiling of a plaque to mark the occassion.
The affordable homes have been made available at lower than market rent and planning restrictions ensure that local households with a connection to the village have priority to live in them.
Commenting on the visit, Adrian Maunders, Chief Executive said: –
“The visit helped to promote the benefits that community-led projects such as this can bring to villages like Wickham Bishops. We are especially pleased that HRH The Princess Royal was able to visit one of our developments in Essex, where we have a successful track record of working with parish and district councils across the county to provide well designed affordable homes in partnership with and for the benefit of local communities. The work that English Rural undertakes is designed to complement the needs of rural parishes, providing homes for local people in the communities they serve and support, ultimately helping to maintain vibrant, active and working villages that house a mixture of age groups and income earners.”