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Fallout from Chelsea Barracks ruling continues

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Richard Rogers has again criticised Prince Charles for interfering with his Chelsea Barracks design, following a High Court ruling over the withdrawal of the scheme

Rogers said the Prince’s determination to express views on his Chelsea Barracks scheme in west London was ‘wrong’ - a stance supported by fellow Prince Charles ‘target’ Peter Ahrends.

The figurehead of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners spoke shortly after a High Court judge declared the intervention by the Prince as ‘unexpected and unwelcome’.

Prince Charles’s strong opinions led developers Qatari Diar Real Estate to withdraw their planning application for the prestigious site.

Their partner in the scheme, CPC Group, failed in a high court bid on Friday to get an early payment of £68.5 million after the proposal was pulled.

Justice Vos said both CPC and Qatari Diar Real Estate, the partners in the development, ‘were faced with a very difficult position once the Prince of Wales intervened in the planning process. His intervention was, no doubt, unexpected and unwelcome’.

Rogers said: ‘The way in which the Prince of Wales intervened in helping to get the original Chelsea Barracks planning application withdrawn was wrong. I hope that this judgment demonstrates that similar interventions should be considered far more seriously before they are made in the future.’

In May 1994 Prince Charles launched his infamous tirade against ‘modernist design’ when he described Ahrends, Burton and Koralek Architects’ proposed National Gallery extension as: ‘a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend.’

Peter Ahrends of the practice on Saturday told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I think that what Mr Justice Vos has done is to focus our attention at high level of the seriousness of the interventions into the democratic process which Prince Charles has been affecting over a period of about 25 years.

‘Prince Charles no doubt has a very serious and real interest in the process of architecture and that’s fine […]Where I think it crosses the line unacceptably is where it actually begins to affect and damn.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Will that work two ways? You know, will it prevent Rogers from using his influence in future to try to prevent other schemes going ahead?

    It seems that this is a case of pots and kettles, and if anyone seriously thinks the planning process is truly democratic they aren't living in the real world.

    Rowan Moore yesterday in the Observer

    " We also know that Rogers was prepared to use his own connections, when he urged John Prescott to stop a project by the prince-favoured architect, Quinlan Terry, just across the road from the barracks site."


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