Threat to Prince's village

The Prince of Wales's dream village will lose its unique rustic identity if bureaucrats in a neighbouring town get their way. Councillors in Dorchester, Dorset, want to extend their town's boundaries to swallow up the Prince's pounds 22m Poundbury development.

Residents of the village, which is built on Duchy of Cornwall land, say the plans will rob the settlement of its rural atmosphere. Properties combine Victorian, Gothic and Renaissance styles. Thousands ofhomes are to be built there in the next 25 years.

Dorchester Town Council, which wants to expand its boundaries to take in the Prince's parish, has turned to the district council for backing. This week its policy and resources committee is to decide whether to recommend a boundaries review by the Local Government Commission.

Dorchester's Town Clerk, Dennis Holmes, said it had been a long-term view that the boundaries should be expanded. But Bill Brazier, chairman of Bradford Peverell Parish Council, which includes Poundbury, says Dorchester wants to expand so that the council can levy tax on the new homes built there in the future.