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The Princess Royal opens affordable housing development

The latest development for Havebury Housing in Bury St Edmunds was officially opened by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.

Located on the site of the old Priors Inn, Perry Barn Close is a development that has 33 houses and flats. It will provide affordable housing to more than 60 residents. Some of the properties were completed in May. Princess Anne met Havebury staff and current tenants.

Rachael Leeves lives in a two-bed semi-detached home with her 16-month-old daughter, Matilda. On meeting the royal, she said: “I can’t wait to share the experience with Matilda when she’s old enough. Not everyone can say they’ve had a real Princess in their home. It was a real privilege to meet Princess Anne. I was very nervous but she was very easy to talk to and so down-to-earth and she really put me at my ease.”

Havebury purchased the former Greene King Priors Inn in December 2013. The inn was built in the early 1930s on the estate that was established in 1927.

Karen Mayhew, chief executive of Havebury Housing Partnership, said: “Its closure was met locally with sadness, but we are thrilled that we have been able to give the site a new lease of life by building much-needed new homes for local people.”

She added this about the royal’s visit: “We are honoured that the Princess Royal has visited our new development and met some of our residents. We were all extremely excited as it’s not every day you have a royal visitor.”

Princess Anne unveiled a plaque at All Saints Church, which will be transferred to the development. It cos £3.1 million to build. £600,000 was received from a government grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Four-year-old Lola Pollard and her nine-year-old sister Lilly presented Her Royal Highness with a posy. The royal was then sent off with waves from children from the Havebury Pre-school.

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