As a mixed-use settlement with factories, offices, shops and facilities are dispersed amongst the residential neighbourhoods. It is therefore possible for some people to live and work in the same community. There are facilities such as restaurants, shops, vets, hairdressers, cafes, pubs, children’s nurseries and community facilities close to homes.
Poundbury is not a residential suburb. Commercial facilities are a convenience for householders, but they can also attract vehicle movements and a certain amount of disturbance – as they do in the vibrant, historic quarters of many traditional English towns and cities.
The Masterplanner for Poundbury is Leon Krier, who has established urban design principles and challenged the architectural establishment and planning conventions of the post war period. The architecture is reflects the traditional Dorchester vernacular, using natural materials typical of the area. To ensure that the development retains its character and sense of place, all alterations to buildings, however small, need the Duchy of Cornwall’s consent.
The density of development at Poundbury is also higher than typical for residential suburbs, and more akin to the densities prevalent in historic towns and villages. It is this density that sustains facilities like local shops. Streets are fully adopted by the Highway Authority, but their use by cars is secondary to their role as the public realm for people who live here. For this reason highway layout is constrained and deliberately inconvenient for cars. Visitors' parking is encouraged on the streets. All properties have identified private car parking areas and residents covenant to use them rather than the public streets for their cars.
The covenants and stipulations are part and parcel of Poundbury, and designed to maintain the quality of the environment and everyday life. People who move into Poundbury, whether freehold owners, tenants, or commercial occupiers, sign the covenants and thereby undertake to observe them for the benefit of the whole community. 20 per cent of housing on Poundbury is rented through Housing Associations, and these houses and flats are interspersed amongst the private dwellings. Another 15 per cent have been identified as affordable housing in an agreement with the District Council and these are likely to be part-equity, self-build or sub-market rented.
High satisfaction ratings are recorded in independent surveys of Poundbury residents, and the Poundbury Residents Association articulates the views of this highly developed community.