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RIBA slams Prince again over Chelsea Barracks meddling

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RIBA president Ruth Reed has fired off a salvo towards Prince Charles following further revelations about his intervention in Richard Rogers’ doomed Chelsea Barracks scheme

Speaking yesterday after property developer Christian Candy came to the stand in the headline-grabbing High Court proceedings, Reed said: ‘If the evidence presented is correct, it appears the Prince of Wales has brought inappropriate pressure to bear on the democratic planning process.  

‘The Chelsea Barracks developers chose not to proceed with the original design, which had been through extensive consultation and design review, and that was their prerogative.’

She added: ‘However behind the scenes influence would have been a huge hurdle to consider. No individual should use their position in public life to influence a democratic process such as planning.’

During the proceedings Candy - who is suing his Qatari partners in the scheme for £81 million for breach of contract - repeatedly claimed the Prince had intervened cin the project, eventually leading to Qatari Dair (QD) to ditch Rogers’ practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

Candy said: ‘It was only the intervention of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales that put the planning application in any conceivable doubt, though I still thought the planning application would succeed if QD stood wholeheartedly behind it.’

He continued: ‘Certainly I expected that in practice the decision of what to do with the planning application in the light of the intervention of the Prince of Wales would be made by the emir and his cousin, His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al Thani, the chairman of QD and prime minister of Qatar.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Since when was any planning application 'democratic' and without external influence?

    One wonders whether the issue is with the heir to the throne meddling where he shouldnt (which is perhaps open to question) Or the prevention of RSH inflicting yet another of their high end residential projects onto Londons urban grain

    I have no libidinous desire to see London returned to some 18th century never land but frankly a huge gated community for a collection of non-doms and other members of the new super elite in Central London was not the answer

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