In 1987 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 reexamined 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
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. Krier 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.
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.
The Masterplan divides Poundbury into four distinctive quarters.
For development purposes, each
quarter corresponds to a Phase. Construction of Phase 1 of Poundbury commenced in October 1993.
Poundbury is being phased according to market demand and
is expected to increase the population of
Dorchester by about one-quarter (approximately 5,000 people) by 2025. As at the beginning of 2013, there were approximately 2,250 people living in Poundbury and 1,660 employed in 140 businesses. Poundbury is approximately one third built and is planned to grow to 2,200 homes by 2025.
Design is strictly traditional, using local architectural idioms and materials familiar to Dorset. However the underlying principles are radical, in a mixed use development with employment opportunities and facilities alongside dwellings, integrated affordable housing and streets treated as the public realm where the car is subsidiary to the pedestrian.