Poundbury History

Poundbury: What is Poundbury’s history? 

Poundbury has a history that is as unique and stunning as its architecture and community. In 2017 it was home to some 3,000 people in a mix of private and affordable housing, as well as providing employment for some 2,100 people working in the 185 shops, cafes, offices and factories. A further 550 are employed in construction across the site.


How old is Poundbury?

The story begins less than three decades ago, the ambition and passion involved in the creation of Poundbury will shape the future of town planning for years to come around the world.

In 1987 when the local planning authority, West Dorset District Council, selected Duchy land to the west of Dorchester for future expansion of the town. As Duke of Cornwall, The Prince of Wales – who re-examined many of the precepts of urban and rural planning in his book ‘A Vision of Britain’, took the opportunity to work with the council to contribute an exemplary urban addition to this ancient market town.

The Duchy of Cornwall began building in 1993, Poundbury is based on some of the timeless principles that have enabled many places around Britain to endure and thrive over the centuries. It is a high density urban extension 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 which people live, work, shop and play.

What role does The Prince of Wales play?


Who is Leon Krier?

In 1988, The Prince of Wales appointed the architect and urban planner, Leon Krier, to prepare the overall development concept for 400 acres, within the line of the Dorchester Bypass – 250 acres of mixed-use buildings and 150 acres of landscaping. Leon is well known in Europe and America as a champion of traditional urban design. His challenge was to create an autonomous new extension to the town within the context of traditional Dorset architecture.

Prince Charles and architect Leon Krier admire their handiwork during a tour of the Poundbury development. Picture Jim Tamplin. 1996.

What’s The Masterplan?

In 1989, the Masterplan was exhibited at the Planning Weekend attended by The Prince of Wales, and the subsequent public comment was reflected in the scheme before planning consent was sought.

Local residents and interested parties were invited to share their opinions and the feedback was reflected in the scheme designs before planning consent was sought.

The resulting Masterplan divided Poundbury into four distinctive quarters –the first phase of which started construction in October 1993. Poundbury will be built out by circa 2025. It is expected that when completed, Dorchester’s

population will increase by about one quarter, with approximately 4,500 people in Poundbury.


What are the Phase developments?

Poundbury is being phased according to market demand and is expected to increase the population of Dorchester by about one-quarter (approximately 4,500 people) by 2025. At the beginning of 2016, there were approximately 3,000 people living in Poundbury and over 2,000 employed in 180 businesses. In January 2017, Poundbury was approximately two thirds built and is planned to grow to 2,200 homes by 2025.


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