Clague Partner Mayler Colloton had pleasure in attending the Annual IMCL Conference in October in Dorchester & Poundbury, hosted by Michael Mehaffy, The Duchy of Cornwall The King’s Foundation , The Congress for the New Urbanism and INTBAU amongst others.

Poundbury has highlighted a procurement & delivery model that enlightened landowners & developers interested in a lasting placemaking legacy for their communities can follow elsewhere in the UK.

Mayler Colloton


Exploring Poundbury

Lots of interesting presentations and discussions took place regarding the design of the places that we all actually love to inhabit and the timeless principles behind many of these. Delegates came from myriad countries bringing case-studies of their built experience and fascinating research into walkable mixed-use neighbourhoods, urban neuroscience, gentle density, community engagement and critical regionalism amongst other subjects. There were also reflections on the still prescient thoughts of the late great Jane Jacobs & Christopher Alexander who both did so much in the last century to champion existing communities, the value of tradition and emphasise the need for nature, human scale and familiar sociable spaces in our placemaking. The star of the show at the Conference however, was the Poundbury community on the edge of Dorchester now approaching 30 years of age with its final phase currently under construction.

Delegates had the opportunity to explore Poundbury during the week with generous presentations from the landowner and design team led by Ben Pentreath and George Saumarez Smith. There are too many successes to list here, but aside from the wonderful traditional architecture and public realm and enjoyably walkable character, it may be the most tenure-blind new build development I’ve ever visited, that, in spite of incorporating some 35% Affordable dwellings across the overall 2,700 homes. The first phase of homes there have been occupied now for over 25 years and the architecture of the whole place is aging really well and seems to benefit from the passing years as tones are softened by the vagaries of the Dorset weather (of which we saw much!) and the landscaping matures nicely.

Immense credit is due to the Duchy of Cornwall, their excellent design team and delivery partners in achieving so much and highlighting a delivery model that enlightened landowners & developers interested in a real placemaking legacy for their communities can follow elsewhere. 

It is an honour for Clague Architects to be currently assisting the Duchy of Cornwall’s established design team on part of their emerging proposals at South-East Faversham, which will build on the many successes of their established projects at Poundbury and Nansledan adapting them to the special contexts of Kent & Faversham.

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