Bridport, Dorset

Watton Village

Smart Community

A holistic approach to social, economic and environmental sustainability creating an energy efficient housing development that respects and enhances the existing landscape and places the wellbeing of the community at the forefront of the design.

Download Prospectus Download Press Release

Watton Village, What & Why

What is the Watton Village Project?

Many people in Bridport are victims of housing poverty. The combination of high rents and low wages mean that lots of people are in dire need of affordable housing. Smart Community Projects Ltd have devised a model which they hope will deliver around 235 affordable homes in an eco community development in Bridport. The project will be mainly built with private sector finance and the land will be leased, not bought.

185 Rental Homes

Secure leases of up to 7 years on affordable homes with rents at or below Local Housing Allowances.

25 Shared Ownership

Shared ownership allows young people and families to get on the housing ladder at an affordable price.

25 Homes for Sale

A proportion of houses for sale ensures a balance of tenures and an opportunity for people to move within the community as circumstances change.

Help tackle

We want to help tackle the Bridport housing crisis.

Reduce the nearly...

400 Households on Bridport Housing Register.

Counter the loss...

of homes caused by right-to-buy sales.

Watton Village, Who...

Smart Community Projects – Who are we?

We are three activists who are striving to find a solution to our national affordable housing crisis and Watton Village in Bridport is our first attempt to do that. Roy Mathisen is a Bridport resident, Vince Adams is a retired businessmen from Dorchester and Jonathan Lovett, our architect is from West London

Watton Village...Who is it for?

Families trapped

in high cost private rented accommodation in and round Bridport, Dorset.

Key workers

Including professions such as teachers, nurses and firefighters.

Unsuitable housing

Help those who are currently living in temporary or unsuitable housing.

Watton Village, Where...

The home of Watton Village.

  • Watton Hill

    The location will be around the base of Watton Hill.

  • 79 Acres

    The whole area of the hill and its lower slopes is 79 acres.

  • 27 Acres

    The actual development site is 27 acres of which a very small amount is built on – the rest being gardens, public open space, woodland and roads.

Fact: 5,000 trees will be planted.

Energy & Conservation

Making affordable to rent, affordable to run also.

Solar Panels

All the roofs will be 100% solar panels and we expect they will produce up to twice the amount of power that the development will need. We aim to store surplus power in on-site batteries to cope with peak demand or sold to the grid. We anticipate that that the fuel bills for individual homes will be significantly less than average.

5,000 New Trees

Strip lynchets provide inspiration for site landform. Important trees retained and 5000 new trees planted, parts of Watton Hill will becomes a public open space.

No Flood Risk

Sustainable drainage system – no flood risk. Water collected and stored for use on gardens and open spaces. A series of ponds and swales creates new bio diversity.

Dorset Wildlife Trust

We plan to work with RSPB / Dorset Wildlife Trust. Create a range of habitats for different types of wildlife. Planting to encourage and strengthen breeding and numbers.


Pasture managed as public open space / wildlife friendly meadow. Better management of woodland and hedgerows.

Roads & Traffic

Roads and Traffic. The only entrance to Watton Village will be a traffic light controlled junction opposite the Kings Head on the A3066. Not Dodhams Lane. Detailed research show s that there will be very little impact on existing traffic patterns. This junction will incorporate a ‘green man’ pedestrian crossing which will enhance road safety for pedestrian traffic. No vehicular access to Pymore Road. The Sustrans cycle route will be protected.

Financial Model


A City Institution has agreed in principle to provide the finance to build the 235 affordable rented homes. However, Smart Communities need to raise at least £500,000 to pay for the costs of obtaining planning permission. Fortunately, Dorset Council have committed to contribute £50,000 towards the planning costs but we will soon be setting up a campaign to raise the rest of the funds that we need.

40 Years at No Cost

Development land will be provided for 35/40 years at no cost, by the Watton Hill Trust.

Pioneering Partnership

Pioneering partnership between a major city institution, the WDDC and landowner.

Consultation with the Community

Smart Communities are committed to work with the community of Bridport in developing this project. We will consult with the local community through focus groups, exhibitions and workshops. We will work closely with local councils as well. All of this is aimed at gaining a clear understanding of how we can best cater for the needs of Bridport.