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Rogers: Prince Charles has veto over London construction

Richard Rogers has said that Prince Charles’s sway over planning is so great that developers seek prior approval from Clarence House before committing to new work

In an interview with the New Yorker, Rogers said that developers have to pass projects by the Prince in order to avoid them being scuppered later down the line when the financial cost would be much greater.

Rogers called it an ‘amazing situation’ and explained that ‘they’re [developers] into minimising risk – and Prince Charles is a risk.’

Rogers also revealed his surprise at being asked to collaborate on a new multi-million pound central London development, despite previous run-ins with the Prince.

In 1987, Prince Charles weighed in against Rogers’ plans for Paternoster Square, claiming the Luftwaffe had done less damage to London, while in 2009 Rogers’ £3bn redevelopment plan for Chelsea Barracks was abandoned after the Prince lobbied the Emir of Qatar over the scheme.

However, a spokesperson for Clarence House denied that developers directly sought Prince Charles’s approval for new schemes.

The spokesperson said: ‘Developers do not seek planning approval from The Prince of Wales as development approvals lie with local planning authorities. If developers choose to send the Prince of Wales information about upcoming developments that is up to them but the Prince does not, and cannot, grant planning permission.’

The spokesperson added: ‘The Prince does regularly receive letters from members of the public complaining about developments and planning decisions. The Prince has received this sort of feedback from the public for decades, which is why his interest in the built environment goes beyond individual developments and architectural style to encouraging a sense of community and pride of place and improving the quality of people’s lives overall.’

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