It’s been about 4 years since I last visited Poundbury, and in those 4 years I seem to be reading and hearing fewer criticisms of “Prince Charles housing estate”. However it is still held up by many in the housing industry as being pastiche at its worst.
On the second May bank holiday in 2011 we took a trip to Lyme Regis to meet up with family and passed Poundbury. It still hits you like an alien that’s landed in the countryside and for me it’s still impossible not to pull in and have a mosey around. Boy has it grown, and boy is it pastiche. But it is clearly working, it looks lived in, it looks permanent, it has delis, wedding dress shops and businesses. It appears to be thriving.
Poundbury may not be everyone’s cup of tea (and there are no houses that I could fall in love with) but it is clearly way above the vast majority of new developments. The landscape standard is very good, the streetscape is better than 95% of developments, and the quality of finish gives the development a real feel of quality and permanence.
Poundbury clearly doesn’t deserve the vitriol it receives.
Prince Charles will probably always be vilified by architects for his traditionalist views but he and the Princes Foundation may receive a posthumous award for Poundbury and his housing legacy will probably eclipse the housing legacy of most of the architects who do the vilifying!