It was ‘perfectly reasonable’ for Prince Charles to declare his opposition to Richard Rogers’ £3 billion Chelsea Barracks scheme, a deputy mayor has claimed
Deputy mayor Kit Malthouse said the royal’s views had not been ‘pivotal’ in Qatari Diar’s (QD) move to scrap the project.
He also dismissed claims that the Prince undermined the democratic planning process by lobbying deputy mayor, Simon Milton.
He told BBC Radio 4: ‘To be perfectly honest I’m not sure why there has been so much fuss about it. For the Prince of Wales to write a private letter to another head of state seems perfectly reasonable to me.
‘This is the fallacy: the planning process isn’t democratic. It is stitched up by developers and planning officers. Developers say you agree to our suggestions or we’ll go to the Planning Inspectorate and you’ll be overruled anyway. The problem is with the planning system not the Prince of Wales.’
On the final day of the hearing last week, Justice Vos called for new witness statements of those involved and said he would be delivering his ruling on the whole case this month or next.
The 5.2 hectares barracks site is in one of London’s most expensive residential areas, sold by the Ministry of Defence for £959 million to the Qatari Diar CPC consortium, which commissioned a Richard Rogers-designed scheme.
The head of QD is Sheik Hamad bin Jasim, who is also prime minister of the country and a cousin of the Emir.