Royal Opening of Affordable Rural Homes in Bolney, Sussex

HRH The Princess Royal will be visiting Magdalene Rise, Bolney, Sussex on 11th June 2019 to officially open English Rural’s new affordable housing development. Building work on the 12 new homes at Magdalene Rise will shortly be completed, providing a mix of houses and flats that will benefit local people.

The homes have been achieved through a community partnership between Bolney Parish Council, Mid-Sussex District Council, Action in Rural Sussex and English Rural. The land for the current site was made available by a local farming family with long-standing connections and involvement in the community.

HRH The Princess Royal will meet residents and view two of the affordable homes, before officially opening the development by unveiling a commemorative plaque.

The development provides much-needed affordable homes for local people. Like many rural areas, villages in Sussex have been affected by higher than average property values and lower than average wages, making it unaffordable for many local households to remain within their home communities close to family and support networks.

The homes have been made available at an affordable rent, and planning restrictions ensure that local people with a connection to Bolney will always take priority as residents.

Commenting on the visit, Martin Collett, English Rural’s Chief Executive said: –

“We are pleased that Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal is able to visit our latest development in Sussex, where we are committed to working with Parish and District Councils. The visit will help to promote the value that small affordable housing developments can bring to villages like Bolney, providing well-designed homes in partnership with and for the benefit of the community. Affordable rural developments provide a secure and safe place for local people to live, in the communities they serve and support. The new affordable homes in Bolney will play an important role in safeguarding a vibrant, active and working village that includes a mixture of age groups and income earners.”

HRH The Princess Royal will have the opportunity to meet with local residents who will live in the affordable homes as well as viewing two of the properties during her visit. The Princess will then meet invited guests and partners involved in bringing the project to fruition over refreshments. Afterwards, Robert Healey (aged 4), the son of residents Amelia Thomson and David Healey, will present a posy to The Princess.

Cllr Tony Steer, Chairman of Bolney Parish Council, said: –

“The Parish Council is delighted to welcome HRH, The Princess Royal to Bolney, where she will see first-hand the much-needed affordable homes at Magdalene Rise. This local initiative where the Parish Council has worked closely with English Rural and other key partners to develop affordable homes will benefit local people and the community for years to come. Increasingly, the Parish Council is aware of the housing challenges that face many local households, with market prices being too much to afford in the village. The twelve new homes will help the community address this challenge.”

The homes at Magdalene Rise were built by Borrowdale Construction Homes Ltd. Funding has been provided by English Rural with grant also made available by Homes England, the government agency supporting affordable housing delivery. The homes will be owned and managed by English Rural and can never be sold on the open market. The site is known as a ‘rural exception site’, which means development would not have normally been allowed but an exception to planning policy was made because the homes are designed to be affordable and meet local needs in perpetuity.

The new homes have been designed to be attractive, spacious and comfortable. Good insulation and Air Source Heat Pump technology provide affordable heating and hot water for residents, reducing energy use and keeping fuel bills low.

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