PRINCESS Anne will visit Woolsery's award winning sports and community hall on October 20 to give the opening address at the Community Council of Devon s Annual Rural Communities Conference. She will also inspect an affordable housing scheme being built

PRINCESS Anne will visit Woolsery's award winning sports and community hall on October 20 to give the opening address at the Community Council of Devon's Annual Rural Communities Conference.

She will also inspect an affordable housing scheme being built on land next to the hall.

The aim of the conference is to share information that will help Devon's rural communities successfully build more affordable housing for local people.

Princess Anne has been involved with The Rural Housing Trust (a national charity) for many years and her attendance at the Community Council of Devon Annual Conference will help raise the profile of an issue that is common to many rural areas.

Jay Talbot, Chief Executive of the Community Council of Devon, commented 'We are delighted that the Princess Royal will be lending her support to this event.

"Lack of affordable housing for local people in our rural communities is often top of the list of public concerns. Local people trying to buy or rent property in their village usually find that they are priced out of the market.

"Over the past five years our Rural Housing team has identified a need for more than 1,400 affordable homes for local people in 113 communities across Devon. The support of the Princess Royal can only help to emphasize the importance of finding solutions to this challenging problem.'

During her visit the Princess will also be presenting awards to communities who are, or have been, successfully involved in building affordable rural housing.

Woolsery parish councillor Roy Turner said: 'The council is very pleased that this scheme to provide 18 affordable homes within the parish is now under way.

"These homes will go some way to ensure that families can remain in the parish and pay a reasonable rent for excellent accommodation. The Parish Council sees this development as a first step to meeting the long term needs of parishioners.'

The deadline for booking onto the conference is September 29. To reserve a place at this event contact the Community Council of Devon on (01392) 383443 or Email info@devonrcc.org.uk..