Campaigners have backed the Princess Royal for challenging the development of large-scale new towns and instead highlighting the benefits of limited expansion of rural villages.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England welcomed her intervention, saying it was important to have a "living countryside" with villages which grew "organically".
We want a living countryside, not a countryside of commuter villages or retirement ghettos. The important thing is that villages should grow organically, with the consent of those who live there, and that priority is given to creating genuinely affordable homes for people with strong employment or family ties to the area.
The way to do this is, wherever possible, is to have a community-led process which identifies suitable sites for inclusion in local and neighbourhood plans. With this in place, development is more likely to be well located and high quality, and therefore win local support.
Princess Anne has advocated small-scale developments in villages, rather than 'big estates' as a solution to the rural housing crisis, according to The Telegraph.
Speaking just weeks after the Coalition discussed plans for two new garden cities, the Princess Royal entered the debate over Britain's housing shortage by asking planners if it was "really necessary" to build developments of up to 15,000 new houses.
Instead, small developments of between six and 12 homes could be scattered villages to make up the same number, she said.
Two university students have claimed they were "assaulted" by staff and detained for nearly six hours by police ahead of a visit by the Princess Royal.
Hona-Luisa Cohen-Fuentes and Euan Kidston claimed they were studying in the University of Edinburgh on Tuesday when they were "roughly seized" by staff and told: "We have someone really important coming here, we can't have the likes of you roaming around."
The students allege they were then prevented from leaving by staff who said they "could be any random scum off the street".
University chiefs say the students "could not provide a satisfactory explanation" for their presence in a restricted area, which was being prepared for Anne's visit.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: "During a security check at an Edinburgh University venue two people were found within a restricted area and were subsequently detained. They were later released without charge."
Members of the re-enactment group Antarctic Adventurers may well have been wishing that Princess Anne had chosen a different day to visit.
As temperatures soared across the UK, the Princess Royal joined descendants of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team for a ceremony marking the centenary of their doomed expedition to the Antarctic, at the National Scott Memorial in Plymouth.