Princess Anne has officially opened Havebury’s latest housing development in Bury St Edmunds.
Perry Barn Close at Priors Avenue is a brand-new purpose-built development of 33 stylish houses and flats, providing affordable housing to over 60 people.
Karen Mayhew, Chief Executive of Havebury Housing Partnership said:
“We are honoured that HRH 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!”
The development is located on the site of a former Greene King public house, the Priors Inn, which Havebury bought in December 2013, along with two neighbouring bungalows.
Mrs Mayhew added: “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.
“We are also very pleased to have worked closely with the Priors Estate Action Group who continue to strengthen and invest time and energy into their community.”
As well as six two-bed homes sold through Shared Ownership, the site has 15 two-bed homes and 12 one-bed flats, available at affordable rents.
The scheme cost a total £3.1 million, £600,000 of which was supported through a government grant from the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA). The architect was Ingleton Wood and the properties were built by Dove Jeffery Homes. Also involved in the project management were AECOM and Richard Jackson Engineering Consultants.
Princess Anne met Havebury staff and tenants and was introduced by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston, to the Chief Constable, Mr. Gareth Wilson; the High Sheriff of Suffolk William Kendall DL; the Chairman of Suffolk County Council, Cllr. Colin Spence; the Mayor of St. Edmundsbury Borough Council, Cllr. Julia Wakelam; the Chairman of Bury St. Edmunds Town Council Cllr. Andrew Speed, and the Revd. Mark Haworth, North Bury Team Rector.
She also viewed a number of properties on the development, which were completed in May, including the homes of Patricia Torgilsman and Rachael Leeves.
Ms Leeves lives in a two-bed rented semi-detached house with her daughter Matilda, aged 16 months. 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!”
Mrs Torgilsman added: “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.”
After being shown around, Princess Anne unveiled a plaque at All Saints Church which will be transferred to the housing development and was presented with a posy by four-year-old Lola Pollard and her nine-year-old sister Lilly, before being waved off by children from All Saints Pre-School.