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Chelsea Barracks: Charles was 'perfectly reasonable'

It was ‘perfectly reasonable’ for Prince Charles to declare his opposition to Richard Rogers’ £3 billion Chelsea Barracks scheme, a deputy mayor has claimed

Deputy mayor Kit Malthouse said the royal’s views had not been ‘pivotal’ in Qatari Diar’s (QD) move to scrap the project.

He also dismissed claims that the Prince undermined the democratic planning process by lobbying deputy mayor, Simon Milton.

He told BBC Radio 4: ‘To be perfectly honest I’m not sure why there has been so much fuss about it. For the Prince of Wales to write a private letter to another head of state seems perfectly reasonable to me.

‘This is the fallacy: the planning process isn’t democratic. It is stitched up by developers and planning officers. Developers say you agree to our suggestions or we’ll go to the Planning Inspectorate and you’ll be overruled anyway. The problem is with the planning system not the Prince of Wales.’

On the final day of the hearing last week, Justice Vos called for new witness statements of those involved and said he would be delivering his ruling on the whole case this month or next.

The 5.2 hectares barracks site is in one of London’s most expensive residential areas, sold by the Ministry of Defence for £959 million to the Qatari Diar CPC consortium, which commissioned a Richard Rogers-designed scheme.

The head of QD is Sheik Hamad bin Jasim, who is also prime minister of the country and a cousin of the Emir.

Readers' comments (1)

  • ‘This is the fallacy: the planning process isn’t democratic. It is stitched up by developers and planning officers. Developers say you agree to our suggestions or we’ll go to the Planning Inspectorate and you’ll be overruled anyway. The problem is with the planning system not the Prince of Wales.’

    Absolutely correct. The fact is there was a major amount of opposition, from the local community to amenity groups and others. Planners 'stitich up' with applicants long before plans ever come before committee, Sound objections are ignored, and policies quoted to suit in the report to committee. CABE support skews the planning process hugely. So those bleating about the 'democratic process' are either ignorant or fully aware and don't like the truth being out in the open.

    "Gerald Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster, has objected to proposals by Christian and Nick Candy for the site, which was acquired last year from the Ministry of Defence for £1billion.

    The Duke's Grosvenor Estate, which borders the site, has called the brothers' plans "monotonous" and "out of context". "

    "Locals have formed the Barracks Opposition Group. James Wright, chairman of Belgravia Residents Associationa member of BOG, endorsed the Grosvenor Estate report.

    He said: "This site provided a rare chance to celebrate the best in a beautiful corner of this city. Instead, it looks like they're replacing one barracks with another.

    "I am particularly appalled by the design of the social housing, which looks exactly like the slab blocks built by councils in the Sixties. Have we learned nothing since making those mistakes?" Other well-known names who have voiced their concerns and joined the objections over the plans include Roxy Music star Bryan Ferry, actor Rupert Everett and socialite Sir Dai Llewellyn. "


    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23498581-candy-brothers-v-the-duke-in-battle-of-chelsea-barracks.do


    Chelsea Barracks Action Group

    http://www.chelseabarracks.org.uk/


    "The London Assembly member for the area, Kit Malthouse, has pithily denounced the scheme as "urban vandalism", saying: "The pavilions of steel and glass would not look out of place in Frankfurt or Shanghai, but in the heart of Chelsea they are monstrous." "

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/5140723/Im-backing-Prince-Charles-in-the-joust-for-Chelsea-Barracks.html

    'Not Another Barracks for Pimlico' Times

    http://www.chelseabarracks.org.uk/uploaded_files/The_Times_11.12.08_1.pdf

    CABE support? How democratic is CABE then? Is CABE not the architectural establishment looking after its favourite sons? All scratching each others' backs? Isn't CABE itself jobs for the boys? And is this not what so much of the howling is about? Gunning for HRH is shooting the messenger.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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