New chair elected at Suffolk CLA

Paul Rous of Dennington Hall Farms, who has been elected as the new Country Land and Business Assoca

Paul Rous of Dennington Hall Farms, who has been elected as the new Country Land and Business Assocation (CLA) Suffolk chair. - Credit: Archant

Paul Rous of Dennington Hall Farms has taken over as chairman of the CLA’s Suffolk Branch Committee.

Paul, who was elected at the branch’s annual general meeting at the Orwell Park Estate today, replaces Edward Vere Nicoll of the Benacre Estate who had held the role for the past two years.

Assisting Paul during his two years in the role will be Orwell Park Estate Manager Ben Crossman, who was confirmed as vice-chairman.

The Rous family, which have been landowners in the county since the 1300s, farms in Dennington, near Framlingham. Paul works on the diversified businesses, which include residential and commercial lets, renewable energy, a wedding and events venue, holiday lets, pubs, and external catering.

“Estate management and farming is undertaken commercially at Dennington Hall Farms, but with a strong focus on sustainability and conservation. This is also important for the CLA and its members who have a deep association with the land and a sense of place,” said Paul, who is a member of the CLA’s national committee for business and rural economy.

“I’m passionate about rural business, tourism and improving training, skills and opportunity for younger generation, especially in rural areas. We need those who live and work in our countryside to have the same opportunities as anyone in our towns and cities.

“With a devolution deal for the county on the table, it’s an important the CLA works hard to ensure there is a rural voice in discussions and the county secures the investment it needs to improve growth, create jobs and offer an improved standard of living across our rural communities.”

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Paul grew up and was educated in Australia before becoming an Army officer, which included a successful tour of Iraq with the Light Dragoons. He also has experience in the City at Goldman Sachs and has worked with start-ups in the UK and the Middle East.

He was elected in 2015 to represent Framlingham Ward on Suffolk Coastal District Council as a Conservative councillor, and is also a board member of Visit East Anglia. He supports local charities such as East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH) and the Suffolk Community Foundation, as well as Prince’s Trust and the armed forces charity SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association).