The Prince of Wales may not have expected such a twist in his fairy tale after all! What was once proclaimed as "Prince Charles' dream" has become a nightmare for its hapless residents. The "Urban Village in St Austell" (Poundbury) has become homes to drunk teenagers and local gangs.
Urban Village, envisioned and partially designed by Prince Charles, was designed to be Britain's first village in a town setting.
AdvertisementThe 147-property village boasts its faux Victorian houses, man-made pond, and stream.
It promised streets "designed for people rather than cars", and homeowners were encouraged to start their own cottage businesses and create a real community, which was quickly nicknamed "Charlietown Two".
However, the picture is quite different after six years, as teenagers drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and causing mischief constantly haunt residents.
The village has today become the preferred destination for riotous gangs, which blight the area, making many residents to contemplate leaving.
While in the day, the village displays a pretty picture with the cluster of Edwardian-type cottages, and Victorian-style terraced houses that cost around 250,000 pounds each overlooking a tree-lined green.
However, as the sun sets down, drunk youths congregate on the swings and climbing frame at the children's play park and drink alcohol and indulge in petty vandalism such as pulling up flowers and walking across cars.
According to the residents, they have had to call the police on most weekends to keep a check on these rowdy youngsters provoking the most ire.
Built on a former railway siding, the St Austell's urban village was based on a similar development in Poundbury, Dorset, which has attracted widespread praise in recent years.
It's not surprising that the St Austell plan has been compared to its predecessor, which, says local councilor Bryan Rawlins, has intensified the criticism.
"People perhaps expected it to be like Poundbury but St Austell is completely different. There, people are very well-heeled but that's not the case here. The problems here are similar to those in most parts of Britain. Its unruly youths, its litter and anti-social behavior. But because this place was sold to people as the perfect place to live they didn't expect any of those problems," The Independent quoted Rawlins as saying.
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