A NEW affordable housing scheme has been given the seal of approval by a lord.

Mackmurdo Place in Wickham Bishops was visited by Lord John Gardiner on Friday.

Lord Gardiner, who is the parliamentary under secretary of state for rural affairs and biosecurity, was shown around the development by Maldon District Council chairman Henry Bass.

His visit comes three months after the Princess Royal officially opened the housing development.

Lord Gardiner said his first visit to the village was “inspiring” as he met several of the residents and looked around their homes.

He said: “I think this is what we should be seeking to achieve in villages - sensitive small-scale developments and affordable housing so that people can remain in the villages that they have a sense of community for.

“For vibrant villages to succeed, they need to have all generations present and I think what I’ve seen is an absolutely outstanding example of community-led housing.

“This is a village with a lot of energy, drive, enthusiasm and civic commitment that is an example of a successful community.

“My abiding impression is that all the residents are immensely happy to be in their new homes.”

The visit was a part of Rural Housing Week which ran from Monday, July 2 to Friday, July 6.

Mr Bass spent the week raising the profile of the district and showcasing successful community-led developments.

He said: “The aim of this annual celebration is to highlight rural housing issues and showcase housing associations’ innovative solutions for tackling them.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on successful developments that offer a lifeline to people in our villages, and to reinforce the message that housing is vital for the survival of rural communities and services.”

The chairman hosted tours for representatives from Tollesbury, Goldhanger, Tillingham, and Wickham Bishops.