The architecture at Poundbury is unashamedly traditional, using a variety of Dorset materials such as stone, slate and render. The architecture draws on the rich heritage of Dorset and, in particular, on the attractive streets of historic Dorchester itself.
On a visit to Poundbury on September 2004, The Rt Hon. Keith Hill MP, Minister for Housing and Planning said: “In terms of the principles - high density so we don't take too much of the countryside, mixed use in that we have factories, offices side by side with residential, where we have social renting tenants living side by side with owner-occupiers and the use of excellent materials - these are the principles we would like to see extended over the country as a whole.”
All architects at Poundbury, many of whom are based in Dorset, work to a building code which regulates features such as roof angles and chimneys. Quality of design and workmanship is controlled by the Duchy of Cornwall through building agreements with each developer.
Larger commercial buildings are generally sited for better vehicular access, but are designed in such a way to frame their sites and create a sense of enclosure - disguising unsightly parking and equipment.
Overall some 20 per cent of the housing is being built by housing associations for rental by people on the local housing list. Further provision is made through shared membership schemes. Uniquely at Poundbury, the social housing is interspersed with, and indistinguishable from, the private housing, and some of the housing has also been designed for special needs or retirement.
Parking is generally provided in landscaped courtyards at the rear which also incorporates housing and ancillary spaces for playrooms and workshops. Provision for these extra spaces recognises the increasing demands for flexible living arrangements and allows people to work from home.
Poundbury demonstrates that it is possible to build high-quality, traditional housing at affordable prices, and provide new factories and offices on competitive terms within a pioneering approach to urban design.