In the UK, eco-neighborhoods have become a hot topic with a strong commitment from His Majesty King Charles III, one of the forerunners of this movement at the end of the 20th century. In 1993, he commissioned the construction of an innovative village called Poundbury, located in south-west England, 3 hours from London. The aim of this district is to combat modern architecture, considered too costly and polluting. To offer optimum living comfort to its community of 6,000 inhabitants, Poundbury has been equipped with schools such as the Prince of Wales and Damers First School, local shops, green spaces such as the Woodland Crescent and Holmead Walk with playgrounds and petanque courts, as well as Hayward Square, the Green Pavilion and the Community Orchard. In an effort to reduce car dependency and encourage the use of soft modes of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport, no traffic signals or traffic lights have been installed in the town.
In addition to its environmental benefits, Poundbury has managed to attract its population thanks to economic advantages. According to the town’s official website, more than 250 businesses are located here, employing over 2,600 people. What’s more, the completion of future housing in 2026 should attract even more residents, and the creation of 1,630 full-time jobs is planned. Of note, 35% are affordable housing units available for rental, condominiums for sale. For example, the Crown Square residence, developed by property developer Morrish Homes, offers three-room apartments from 375,000 Euros (£325,000). With the ZeroC program, buyers can acquire this property at a discount of 25-30%. However, they must resell the home at the same discount. This program differs from other government programs in that the homes remain perpetually affordable for future buyers. To be eligible for the scheme, applicants must be on Dorset Council’s housing list and have a combined income of less than 70,000 Euros (£60,000) per annum.