A council is one of the first in Essex to support people to build their own homes.

Maldon District Council is backing the Government's Community Right to Build scheme, which allows local communities to undertake small, community-led building projects which could include homes, shops and businesses.

To get the go-ahead, the proposals must have the agreement of more than half of local people that vote through a community referendum and meet some minimum requirements, for example, they should generally be in line with national and local planning policies.

A spokesman said: "The council may not be one of the first but is certainly among the few and possibly the only one in Essex actively seeking to promote and enable this type of development since the government encouraged local authorities to do so through the National Planning Policy Framework."