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Prince expresses anger at demolition plans for 'intrinsic' Smithfield

The Prince of Wales has waded into the looming planning dispute over the future of Smithfield Meat Market in London.

The Prince has written to the Corporation of London expressing his frustration at proposals it commissioned from KPF to demolish several unlisted buildings within the conservation area.

He is determined that the scheme, for a new office development on the Farringdon Road, should be shelved and the buildings renovated as a trigger for local economic regeneration.

A spokesman for the Prince - who first got involved in architectural politics in the '80s after he castigated Modernist 'carbuncles' - said he was horrified when he heard of the plans.

'The Prince of Wales is keen to ensure that the market is retained in its entire extent, ' the spokesman told the AJ. 'He believes that it is of genuine architectural merit and that it is an intrinsic part of London's heritage.

'Not only that, he is convinced that if the buildings were saved and refurbished they would be of benefit to both Londoners and visitors to the capital.

'If this were to happen, as at Covent Garden, the site could also act as a trigger for economic regeneration in the area, ' the spokesman added.

Adam Wilkinson, the director of SAVE Britain's Heritage, said he was excited to have won the Prince's backing for the reinstatement of plans by Urban Space Management to reuse the existing buildings on the site.

'Any respected opinion like the Prince's backing our campaign is to be welcomed, ' he said. 'And when it is at such a high level, it can make a real difference.'

'It is great news because it is clear that he wants to retain the buildings and I imagine it has left the City Corporation a little annoyed, ' Wilkinson added.

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