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Westminster backs Chelsea Barracks scheme

The controversial Chelsea Barracks scheme has received a major boost following the publication of the official planning report by Westminster Council recommending its approval

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ design, which prompted the intervention by Prince Charles, looks set to win planning consent on 18 June with the report calling the scheme ‘…one of exceptionally high quality’.

‘When compared to the inappropriate and disjointed collection of 1960s buildings on the site … the proposed development, by a combination of its architecture, generous open space and treatment of spaces between buildings, will significantly enhance the immediate townscape,’ the report concludes.

The report reveals the council has received more than 400 of letters of objection to the plans – and 61 in support – which it is claimed will ruin views of the historic Royal Hospital site.

The project has been the subject of intense speculation following Prince Charles’ criticism and subsequent approach to the developer Qatari Diyar with alternative, more traditional plans drawn up by the architect Quinlan Terry.

A number of the world’s top architects, wrote a letter to The Sunday Times to condemn the Prince of Wales for using his ‘privileged position’ to intervene in the design process.  

This was followed by rumours the design will be dropped after Ghanim bin Saad al-Saad, head of Qatari Diyar said he was confident a solution to the design would be found that would please everyone, including Prince Charles.

‘We respect the democracy and procedures in the UK and [want to] listen and co-operate with….all parties, with Prince Charles, with the mayor, with everybody….We are following the process and procedures…we can sit around the table to get a solution for everybody.’

The report, published yesterday suggests the current design will be apporved by the council.

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