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Sponsor encourages controversy ahead of Charles lecture

The sponsor of Prince Charles’ much-anticipated lecture at the RIBA says he should talk about the furore surrounding Chelsea Barracks when he speaks tomorrow night

In recent days Clarence House has been keen to play down the controversy over the Prince’s comments about Roger Stirk Harbour + Partner’s high-density, non-classical designs for the historic west London site, saying the future King would focus instead on the ‘common ground’ shared between himself and the institute.

However Richard Steer, a senior partner at event sponsor Gleeds, said: ‘I hope he does raise the [the barracks].

‘There are strong views on both sides and it would be a good platfrom and opportunity to continue the debate. It brings the issues into the public domain.’

He added: ‘The whole thing is really exciting. There is quite a lot of emotion here but I’m sure the audience will be impecabbly behaved…’

But Steer would not be drawn on whether he supported Charles, saying both Classical and Modernist buildings can be ‘right at the right time and in the right place’. Instead he pointed the finger at the planners for fuelling the controversy by not setting the levels of density on the barracks site.

It is understood nearly 1,500 applications were received for just 400 tickets available on the night.

Gleeds has sponsored the lectures, initially set up to focus on climate change and sustainability, for the last three years.



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