The Princess Royal opens 12 affordable homes for local people in Bolney – July 2019

In June, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal visited Magdalene Rise in Bolney, West Sussex to officially open English Rural Housing Association’s new affordable housing development.

The scheme was achieved through a community partnership between Action in rural Sussex’s Sussex Community Housing Hub, English Rural Housing Association, Mid-Sussex District Council, Bolney Parish Council and a local farming family who bequeathed the land and provides a mixture of much-needed, genuinely affordable houses and flats which will benefit local people.

The homes have been made available at an affordable rent and planning restrictions have ensured that local people with a connection to Bolney will always take priority as residents. The properties are designed to keep energy bills affordable too; with good insulation and Air Source Pump technology, energy usage is kept to a minimum.

Martin Collett, English Rural’s Chief Executive said: “We are pleased that Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal visited our latest development in Sussex, where we are committed to working with Parish and District Councils. The visit helped 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.”

The Rural Housing Enabler at Action in rural Sussex played a key role in the Bolney development by working with Bolney Parish Council and English Rural Housing Association to facilitate this local needs housing scheme.

Sadly, many rural villages in Sussex are experiencing the all too common phenomenon, that is taking place across rural England, of having higher than average property prices combined with lower than average wages, making it impossible for many people to buy a home in their own communities. Schemes like this and Community Land Trust developments, aim to reverse this trend by ensuring that homes remain genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area.

For more information on how we can help you set up a Community Land Trust in your area of Sussex, please visit

Photo credit English Rural/Matt Pereira Photography

Photo credit English Rural/Matt Pereira Photography











“Supporting rural communities in Sussex to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.”