Monday, 10 March 2014


The Prince of Wales, as you no doubt know, has strong feelings about urban design and planning.  He has therefore begun to build an experimental town, called Poundbury, on the edge of Dorchester, on land that he owns, according to the traditional principles of urban planning that he supports.  I have always had a slightly sceptical attitude towards the project, partly because it doesn't seem to have reduced urban motorcar use (which was one of its design aims) and partly because this is what you can see form the road as you pass it by -

it looks like something my grandson or Enid Blyton might have designed.

But we decided to visit it last week to see for ourselves.  I can't comment of what it's like living there - it's supposed to be designed with ease of travel and access to essential services in mind - but it certainly made an impression.  It's still a little like a cross between a Farrow and Ball colour chart, an estate agents catalogue and a Fairfield Porter painting, but I must say I thought the environment rather pleasant.  I can see why car use has not been less than elsewhere - the distances are probably more than most people wish to walk in their own towns these days, but walking around was a fairly pleasing experience and it is certainly more open than most new towns.  The visible construction did seem to be to the high standard it was puffed up to be too.  If it's true that there won't be disturbance from road works every few days either, I could see the model being a successful one.  Never the less, it is often land prices that prevent investment on this scale and I'm not sure whether spacious towns like this develop any sort of community.

Just a few glimpses, but how does it look to you?


  1. I think I like it. If I had to live in a real town, one where walking is made easy would be preferred. It has a certain charm all of its own. In 20 years it will develop more character.

  2. Thanks for bringing the project to my attention. I don't know if it's the architecture or the flat landscape, but it reminds me a bit of Holland.

  3. Couldnt decide whether I liked it or not , more likely I didnt .