The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, visited a new affordable housing development in Bishop's Castle earlier this week.
He visited the Oak Meadow development, where South Shropshire Housing Association (SSHA), a part of Connexus group, are building 24 affordable properties on the western fringe of the town.
Mr Jenrick showed particular interest in the Bishop's Castle development as the SSHA worked with the town council during the planning process, allowing the rural exception site to be developed to suit the town’s housing needs and securing vital grant funding from Homes England.
The mayor of Bishop's Castle, Julie Magill, and a number of the town's councillors were also there, together with local MP Philip Dunne.
Mr Jenrick said: "Oak Meadow is a good example of how government housing policy is meeting the target of building 300,000 houses a year for the next three years, with 240,000 completed this year.
"A good proportion of these new builds needed to be affordable, with shared ownership helping people to get a foot on the housing ladder.
"I am delighted the Bishop's Castle community have shown their support as a strong local infrastructure is also important."
Richard Woolley, chief executive of Connexus, said: “It was an honour today to welcome Robert Jenrick to South Shropshire and show how rural exception sites such as this are helping to provide communities with the affordable housing they need.
"We have been impressed with both the enthusiasm shown by Bishop's Castle Town Council for the housing scheme and the support of the local community which was making their job a rewarding one."
Not afraid to get his hands dirty, the Housing Secretary was happy to assist SSHA’s Development Team and contractor J. Harper & Son with some bricklaying before chatting at length with local dignitaries and residents alike.
Twelve of the homes will be for affordable rent and 12 for shared ownership. The first occupants are due to arrive in June 2020.