Developers are struggling to find buyers for multi-million pound apartments built in Price Charles’ model town of Poundbury, with the luxury Royal Pavilion set to be surrounded by eyesore building work until 2025.
The development was finished in July 2018 and is the town’s grandest creation, consisting of two and three bedroom apartments costing up to £2.5million.
Owners should have a perfect view of the surrounding countryside and Queen Mother’s Square, but the picturesque and tranquil scenery is ruined by numerous construction sites that surround the exclusive block.
The Royal Pavilion was finished in July 2018 and is the town’s grandest creation, consisting of two and three bedroom apartments costing up to £2.5 million
Owners should have a perfect view of the surrounding countryside and Queen Mother’s Square, but the picturesque and tranquil scenery is ruined by numerous construction sites
The building sites surround the exclusive Northern Quadrant, which is due to finish in 2025
One of the bedrooms inside an apartment in the Royal Pavilion, which has flats selling for up to £2.5million
The pricey designer apartments come with high ceilings, top of the range kitchens, bathrooms and underfloor heating. There’s a five-star day spa with swimming pool and a gym run by world-renowned spa company Monart.
The Northern Quadrant – which the Royal Pavilion backs onto – is the last remaining part of town to be built and won’t be completed until 2025.
Richard Biggs, Mayor of Dorchester and also a councillor for Poundbury, said the rash of building works around the Royal Pavilion was a sign of the town’s success, not evidence it was being neglected.
‘Poundbury will never feel rundown as people are looking after it, there’s not the chronic decline of some towns,’ he said.
‘Price of houses on Poundbury are at a premium, which make it difficult for some people to afford to live there. But it has got a high proportion – 35 per cent I think – of social housing.’
Poundbury was began 26 years ago as an urban extension to Dorchester, with planners aiming to ‘create beauty and reflect local character and identity’.
According to the Royal Pavilion website, only two of the 16 apartments have been sold. They have been on the market for around a year
Another view of a construction site in Poundbury that sits near to the Royal Pavilion
Some apartments in the Pavilion have three-bedrooms and two terraces, priced at £1.45million. Others at the lower end cost £570,000
The town’s affordable housing was intended to be indistinguishable from private properties, and streets give priority to pedestrians rather than cars.
However, some critics have labelled it a ‘ghost town’, a ‘feudal Disneyland’ and criticised its ‘outdated’ classical architecture. Even Mr Biggs admits it’s a ‘Marmite town’ – you either love it or hate it.
He added: ‘There will always be detractors and not like this place, to some, it’s a Marmite place. I love it and think it’s great, but I realise it’s not to everyone, the architecture can be overbearing, the classical style, it is what it is, but it is quality.’
Independent of the construction work on the northern side of town, Poundbury Residents Association vice-chairman Blake Holt reveals that the Poundbury project is still very much the ‘Prince’s baby’ and one of the main tourist attractions in the region.
Two-bed apartments in the Pavilion can cost as much as £875,000 and are being marketed by estate agents Symonds & Sampson. Pictured is a kitchen inside one of the luxury flats
Luxurious bathrooms, pictured, in the flats will also allow residents to relax in comfort. If that is not enough, those who live in the Pavilion will also have access to a five star day spa
He said: ‘From my understanding, Prince Charles takes a huge interest in the project, comes down regularly, and meets a lot of people when he’s here, I’ve met him a couple of times.
‘It’s his baby, this was his expression of his views on architecture and communities, so was to take a big interest in it. He has a big influence on what was going on.
‘I don’t recognise that I live in a “feudal Disneyland”, I don’t recognise it as a ghost town, that’s maybe an outdated perception. It’s incredibly widely known, when I travel around the country or abroad, people know about it.
‘We get a lot of tourism, people come down to look at Poundbury, it’s a destination, which suggests people are fascinated by it. We get quite a lot from overseas. It’s proven to be pretty popular.’
Poundbury was began 26 years ago as an urban extension to Dorchester, with planners aiming to ‘create beauty and reflect local character and identity’