Prince Charles: 'I am an ignorant amateur'
The Prince of Wales branded himself an ‘ignorant amateur’ in a letter sent to stop the Smithfield market redevelopment, the AJ can exclusively reveal
Echoing the controversy surrounding the Prince’s current ‘meddling’ in the Chelsea Barracks proposals, the note (above) to former English Heritage chair Neil Cossons in 2004 urges the organisation to list the historic central London market and help stop KPF’s proposed £250 million commercial redevelopment of the site.
KPF and developer Thornfield Properties, who intended to flatten the red brick Victorian buildings on the western edge of the plot, subsequently lost a public enquiry and John McAslan & Partners was brought in to look at how the markets could be retained in any new scheme.
The angry Prince said in the letter, uncovered this week by the AJ, that he ‘was determined that we [himself and English Heritage] should do everything we can to preserve and restore Smithfield and the complex of buildings in a sympathetic way, rather than destroy yet another part of London’s Heritage’.
However, speaking about a decision not to list the market blocks, Charles said: ‘I recognize I am an ignorant amateur in these weighty bureaucratic matters but I am still still confused and bewildered by what appears to be a lack of logic - somewhere…’
Prince Charles delivers his latest thoughts on architecture at the RIBA tonight (12 May).