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Poundbury

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Poundbury is an urban extension to the Dorset county town of Dorchester, built on Duchy of Cornwall land according to architectural principles advocated by The Prince of Wales.

The Prince has long been concerned by the quality of both the natural and built environments in which we live.

In 1989 His Royal Highness published the book ‘A Vision of Britain’ which set out his beliefs in certain principles of architecture and urban planning. 

These principles reflected some of the timeless ideas that have enabled many places around Britain to endure and thrive over the centuries.

Begin in 1994 Poundbury is the living embodiment of these principles. 

It is a high density urban quarter of Dorchester which gives priority to people, rather than cars, and where commercial buildings are mixed with residential areas, shops and leisure facilities to create a walkable community. The result is an attractive and pleasing place, in keeping with the character of Dorchester, in which people live, work, shop and play.

It is home to 2,000 people in different types of housing, including social housing, as well as providing employment for some 1,600 people and is a home to 140 businesses.

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Poundbury aimed to challenge some of the planning assumptions of the latter part of the 20th Century which often resulted in ghettoised and run-down social housing estates and out-of-town shopping centres, forcing ever greater reliance on the car.

In 1987 the local planning authority, West Dorset District Council, selected Duchy of Cornwall land to the west of Dorchester for future expansion of the town. As Duke of Cornwall, The Prince of Wales took the opportunity to work with the council to create a model urban extension to the ancient market town.

In 1988, The Prince of Wales appointed the well-known architect and urban planner, Leon Krier, to work on an overall concept for 400 acres of land of what would become Poundbury. Krier’s challenge was to create an autonomous new extension to the town within the context of traditional Dorset architecture, using the urban design principles described in A Vision of Britain, often now referred to as the Poundbury Principles, architecture, mixed housing and favouring the pedestrian over the car to create a more humanising environment.

Over the past twenty years, as Poundbury has developed, it has demonstrated that there is a genuine alternative to the way in which we build new communities in this country.

Poundbury has proved increasingly influential, attracting international interest and generating hundreds of organised tours every year from architects, town planners, academics and housebuilders.

Quick Facts

  • Construction of Poundbury commenced in October 1993
  • Poundbury is being built on 400acres of land. 250 acres of mixed-use buildings and 150acres of landscaping
  • Poundbury is being built in four distinct phases
  • At the beginning of 2012 around 2,000 people were living in Poundbury and 1,500 people working in businesses
  • Poundbury is expected to increase the population of Dorchester by about one-quarter (approximately 4,500 people) over the development period
  • The architecture of Poundbury is unashamedly traditional and reflects the local style, but it is not a village
  • Poundbury is an urban extension to Dorchester
  • There are currently 140 individual businesses operating in Poundbury
  • 35 per cent of the housing under construction in Poundbury is affordable housing for rental or shared ownership by people on the local housing list
  • Pummery Square is the hub of Phase One and Queen Mother Square will be the hub of Phases Two, Three and Four
  • There are currently 11 specially built Eco Homes in Poundbury but more are planned for the future
  • Poundbury will probably be completed around 2025
  • Poundbury is one half built

 

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