The RIBA has waded into the row surrounding Richard Rogers’ controversial Chelsea Barracks scheme, calling on the Prince of Wales to stop any further intervention
In a statement issued today, RIBA president Sunand Prasad said that the project has proceeded through all required planning processes and must be allowed to continue.
The broadside comes just days after the institute announced that Prince Charles would be returning to the RIBA to deliver a lecture, 25 years after falling out with the institute following his infamous ‘carbuncles’ speech.
‘The design for the Chelsea Barracks site by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has been proceeding through the planning system with revisions following extensive consultation and comments and through duly constituted design review,’ said Prasad. ‘Any intervention that compromises the democratic process has the potential to diminish the ability of the clients, the designers, local community and local authorities to arrive at fully considered solutions without undue influence. I appeal to HRH The Prince of Wales to allow the properly constituted and conducted planning process to take place unhindered.’
The AJ reported on 7 April that the Prince of Wales had personally written to the project developer, Qatari Diar – the property development arm of the Qatar government – to reconsider Rogers’ proposals. Instead the Prince is advocating a more classical design by architect Quinlan Terry.
The site was purchased by Qatari Diar and Christian Candy’s development business, Guernsey-based CPC Group, from the Ministry of Defence for almost £1 billion in 2006. The original plans by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners included 640 flats in a series of pavilions of up to 10 storeys high, adjacent to the site’s original 1691 Christopher Wren-designed building.