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Jowell signals growing interest in design codes with Poundbury visit

The government's seemingly ever-growing interest in design codes was further emphasised this weekend.

DCMS secretary of state Tessa Jowell, the minister with responsibility for CABE, has taken a tour of Prince Charles' hugely contentious Poundbury project in Dorset.

The prince showed the embattled politician around the development, explaining the concept behind the project, which was masterplanned by Leon Krier.

It has long been used as an example of design coding, along with schemes such as Seaside in Florida, the development used as the set for 'The Truman Show'.

This is not the first time that senior government figures have shown a fascination in the project. In the last two years, deputy prime minister John Prescott has made several visits to the village, a sign of his growing alliance with the prince on planning and architecture matters.

Last month, it emerged that the ODPM is set to embed design coding in law when the draft Planning Policy Statement 3 was published (AJ 16.02.03).

But a spokesman for the prince attempted to play down the significance of Jowell's visit.

'The prince is here on one of his regular visits and is with a group of guests to see Poundbury as an example of a sustainable community that is turning into a successful and thriving community,' the spokesman said.

by Ed Dorrell

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