Taking on the role of campaigning editor, Princess Anne set out her vision for securing a brighter future for the countryside in a 2,000-word leader column, in which she urged everyone to be more careful about waste and energy.
She paid tribute to her parents for instilling a lifelong love of nature and focused on the major issues facing people and the rural economy. In particular, Princess Anne argued that it is important to extend employment opportunities for those who would rather stay living and working in the countryside.
She also emphasised that there is already a shortage of affordable houses in most rural areas, and called for ‘quality, appropriate housing of the right type and the right numbers in the right places’. Housing for local families that are priced out of the market; for young, single people who would like to stay and work in their home village or area; young families; and retired people who were born in the village and would like to return home.
All of them could make the difference to having a viable school, shop or pub in the village, according to Princess Anne. Importantly, these housing developments should be small and remain in the control of the local parish council, either for rent or shared ownership—preferably small because of two other best-practice issues: waste and energy.
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