Demand for 'model' homes

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

BUYERS been quick to snap up homes in the Prince of Wales's model village - even though they have not been built yet. Firm down payments were made for five properties at Poundbury in Dorset on Saturday, the first day of sales. Prince Charles has taken a keen interest in planning Poundbury, a village of about 2,500 homes being built on Duchy of Cornwall land near Dorchester where prices of the properties will range from pounds 70,000 to pounds 145,000.

He wants the homes to encourage the ideals of village community life, in contrast to 'soulless' modern housing estates.

Although only the first three homes have been started, 300 people turned up on site for an invitation-only open day on Saturday and between 300 and 400 'mostly locals' attended yesterday's public day.

Philip Fry, of C G Fry which is building the first 61 homes, said: 'I think the fact that Prince Charles is linked to the development may have helped generate interest, but even in this market, if you are building something people want, then they will buy.'

But he added that the fact that most of the buyers were older people did not mean the village, which will feature residential and retail properties combining Victorian, Gothic and Renaissance styles, would be a retirement ghetto. Thirty-five of the homes will go to the Guinness Trust as social housing for young couples to rent.