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Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
2 months ago

Why all the miserable adjectives in the first paragraph?
Wasteland of Chinese shipping containers
Tired Costa Coffee
Geriatric bus
Sad post war council houses

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

It’s a general disparagement of England. It could have been written differently:
Vibrant trading area witnessed by Chinese shipping containers
Quiet Costa Coffee
Quaint vintage bus
Post-war building boom council houses

You choose your adjective to make your point.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
2 months ago

I prefer your version Linda. His point being presumably that England is wretched? What a misery.
I was brought up in a post war council house, it was lovely.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve Elliott
Martin Adams
Martin Adams
2 months ago

Well said, Linda. My reaction on first reading was exactly the same as yours and Steve Elliot’s.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
2 months ago

The author’s dismal take bubbles up everywhere, culminating in his repeated prophecies that the end of ‘globalisation’ spells the arrival of some sort of lasting economic depression. I don’t really see why that is bound to occur, unless he dreads the prospect of slightly higher spending on consumer goods for elitist critics like himself. But for the country as a whole, as for many other ones, it could mean the revival of a class of people who MAKE things, giving them pride and purpose and prosperity, and the simultaneous shrinkage of the mob that has lived off sourcing out such jobs to China. And I’m all for that.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 months ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

I’m for that too Wim. A time when a youngster with no academic aspirations or ability could make things and in doing so could make something of their life. When a youngster could after a long day of hard graft could hold an object in his hands and proudly say “I made that”. a powerful motivating force usually ignored by the academic elites and others.
I visited Poundbury just once on a warm summer day. All the houses with the same painted doors, all the artificial areas looking like they’d been implanted by aliens from Mars. I shuddered at what that might mean for the residents and their independence of thought. It could have been a scene from Orwell’s 1984, and as I turned onto the A35 and westwards towards the beautiful Dorset town of Bridport my gloom lifted as I realized I was back in the real world and that lovely old England, and couldn’t get away from Poundbury fast enough. I used to say after a day working in London that the best thing about London was leaving it. After that fleeting summer visit to Poundbury I can add Poundbury to that list of places I’d rather not visit.

Last edited 2 months ago by Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

A rough guide to the artificial culture of Poundbury can be seen in the eateries available. No less than four coffee shops and a bistro. On the outskirts located by the exit to the westbound A35 is a branch that bastion of American imported culture, – a McDonalds.
But of that staple of Englishness found in almost all British towns and cities, a fish and chip takeaway there is not one. That omission says everything we need to know about Poundbury’s snobbish culture. A place for parasites who live on the wealth created by people with dirty hands and muck on their boots in mucky chaotic places elsewhere.

Last edited 2 months ago by Brian Burnell
Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

The Duchess of Cornwall pub in the very centre of Poundbury, serves excellent fish and chips to eat in or take away via Deliveroo. The Poet Laureate too.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 months ago
Reply to  Edward Seymour

I’m certain the Duchess of Cornwall is a fine pub, – but is not and never can be a fish & chip takeaway. A very distinct cultural artifact of working class life.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Edward Seymour

I’m surprised ‘Deliveroo’, which is an archetypal globalised business, is actually allowed! The article is littered with clichés.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

What rot! A friend of mine moved to Poundbury, and had waited for over a year to get a social housing property there. She’s no snob, or parasite, and she’s a maker and grafter instead of the parasite you want the inhabitants to be. As the article points out, 35% of the properties there are either ‘social housing’or ‘affordable housing’. A large percentage are also ‘live above the shop’ housing, for practical workers.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

It is harsh as well as absurdly unrealistic to call the vast majority of British people who don’t make things (and if they do, they do so in factories, not workshops!) ‘parasites’!

Last edited 2 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Michael Davis
Michael Davis
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

Don’t compare Poundbury with Bridport but with the endless, soulless housing estates built everywhere
i think the critics are probably living in those places or can afford the genuine Georgian houses with the big rooms and large gardens

Either way the article reeks of cynical slightly left people who believe people should “know their place “

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

Thanks for that. I saw it 4 days after you posted it; am not in the habit of re-visiting daily. It would be very helpful to UnHerd’s readers if it made an arrangement with Disqus, so posters would be notified of new replies.

Debbie Willmot
Debbie Willmot
2 months ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

If it gets built the new building project by the Duchy of Cornwall will be interesting. However, there is huge,and probably justified opposition, as this would be built on Grade 1 farmland and will depose tenant farmers. It won’t be a new town either but attached to Faversham, Kent. So most likely to be bought by well heeled commuters. We do need better standards in house construction, so if they can influence that, that might be a small positive.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
2 months ago
Reply to  Debbie Willmot

Thanks for the reply, although it’s a bit challenging to share your concerns since I live in the US. What would be very helpful to UnHerd readers like me would be an arrangement with Disqus, so posters would be instantly notified of new replies.

AC Harper
AC Harper
2 months ago

We like to include a visit to Poundbury when we are on holiday in that part of the world. We come away impressed by the architecture and lack of clutter in the streets – but also with the impression that the houses are just frontages for a film set. An idyllic neighbourhood for Stepford Wives perhaps?
The press recently reported that a resident in a rental property was threatened with eviction for having too many plants in the front of the house.
So the message I draw from Poundbury is not altogether positive, and this undermines the arguments in the essay.

Mary Thomas
Mary Thomas
2 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I have friends who live in Poundbury who wouldn’t live anywhere else now. Coming from London I was scathing and thought the whole idea ludicrous. But as they have settled down, made friends and the area has matured they have grown to love it. It’s peaceful, organised, and has everything you need for a contented life to hand, including allotments.

Sometimes you can have enough of life on the edge, taking risks, travelling on night buses or tubes, walking on dark streets… it’s an easier and much more pleasant life in Poundbury!

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
2 months ago

Was Poundbury an indulgence by the largest landowner in the region?
30 years in the making and with only 196 houses and 50 flats to show it would seem not the way to increase the housing stock.
With an average price of aka £400,000 ( 50K above neighbouring Dorchester) and leasehold to boot they seem to be destined for the young middle class.
An indulgence indeed, with I’m sure many happy residents, but not the answer to our housing crisis for working people

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Calhoun
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 months ago

The reason for the higher prices is surely that people are prepared to pay more for elegance and beauty, (and something very well built, unlike most volume housing estates)

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 months ago

There are about 1700 houses and flats in Poundbury incidentally

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
2 months ago

Are there really only 196 houses and 50 flats in Poundbury? Overcrowding must be quite a problem for the town’s 4,600 inhabitants.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 months ago

Your numbers aren’t just dodgy,they’re far more unrealistic than the idea that a new town (or, really, village) should have a beautiful centre, a range of housing styles and sizes, and include shops and workshops to attract both employers and the self-employed, rather than being a dormitory for bigger towns a bus/car ride away.

David Simpson
David Simpson
2 months ago

How is the “affordable” housing kept affordable (and how is that defined)? And how is the apparently inevitable chasm between those who can pay the 29% (!) premium and those in the “affordable” housing stock to be bridged? I am surprised that the King and his then advisers did not anticipate this problem.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
2 months ago

But everywhere could become a ‘ luxury vision’. Scruton tried to do this before he was destroyed by the New Statesman and a Tory Minister . There was never any need for ugliness, for a watered down version of a 100 year old ‘modernism’.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 months ago

God save the Poundbury!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 months ago

Poundbury would have made an excellent location for the filming ‘The Prisoner’, (had it been built at the time).

Otherwise it certainly resembles a rather kitsch Hollywood film set.
Sadly the glory that was Roman Dorchester/Durnovaria, with its seven mile aqueduct running from a reservoir located to the north west, is long gone, yet nearby ‘Maiden Castle’ home of the ancient “Brittunculi” remains!

https://www.facebook.com/PurrrAvengers/videos/opening-and-closing-credits-the-prisoner/434522723806681/

Last edited 2 months ago by stanhopecharles344
Tom Graham
Tom Graham
2 months ago

I visited Poundbury one day last month after traveling through Scotland towns, countryside and cities and touring London. Poundbury does not compare well with historic built environment. I share many of King C3’s aspirations but perceived Poundbury as missed opportunities. Many of the buildings are elegant well-proportioned stand alone structures. I assumed construction costs greatly exceeded market value on completion and were heavily subsidized. I also assume that local zoning and development standards prohibited development of the delightful historic places beloved by so many today – but illegal for contemporary artisans, craftsmen and entreprenuer to build. In USA, Euclidean exclusionary zoning ordinances largely stifle creation of places most humans love and would choose if permitted. I wonder why Poundbury fell so short?

Julian Townsend
Julian Townsend
2 months ago

35% of Poundbury may be designated “affordable” (the legal definition, 80% of “market” values, is anything but affordable for a great many of us). But if Charlie really wanted to create a new sort of town, not just a posh car-dependent suburb, he should have included a substantial social rented sector. Even there, housing association-type “social” rents are often far more than many could afford to pay, indeed the assumption is increasingly common that social housing is a means-tested benefit, so tenants are assumed to be benefit-dependent , which hardly makes for a cohesive society.
Rents need to be set at a level that someone on the m inimum wage could afford to pay, nearer to council rents than those charged by housing associations. At least half the housing should be for rent. Now that would be a different sort of community, no matter how pastiche the architecture (and I accept that it’s probably nicer than I imagine!) A noble experiment, that would be.

Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
2 months ago

Interesting that earlier this year, concerns were expressed by local residents about restrictions imposed on them regarding window frames: https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/19926469.irritation-poundbury-wooden-window-frame-rule/
Expense and practicality versus appearance and eco-friendliness. In these times of economic hardship in an area of supposedly affordable housing, these regulations appear less than user-friendly.

John Mann
John Mann
2 months ago
Reply to  Barry Stokes

when did the King’s accession to the throne become an ascension?