Prince Charles admonished by court

Last Updated: Friday, June 25, 2010 - 21:30

London: Prince Charles, the heir to the
British throne, was on Friday admonished by a High Court for his
"unexpected and unwelcome" interference in UK`s most expensive
housing project.

Justice Vos criticised Prince Charles while
delivering the verdict at the end of a two-year legal fight
over the collapse of the controversial 3 billion pound
architecture project in central London.

He ruled that Qatari Diar Real Estate breached its
contract with developer Christian Candy when it withdrew an
application for planning permission for a building in Chelsea.

Charles, a long-standing critic of modern
architecture, had written to Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al
Thani, Qatar`s Prime Minister and the head of Qatari Diar,
expressing his opposition to the design by famed architect
Richard Rogers.

The judge did not immediately award damages because
the developer had not applied for them. The issue will be
taken up at a later hearing.

The two-year tussle between the developers was
triggered when Qatari Diar, the ruling family`s investment
arm, withdrew modernist plans for the Chelsea Barracks site in
the face of opposition from Charles.

The Prince of Wales wrote an emotional letter to the
Qatari Prime Minister attacking the "brutalist" design by
architect Lord Rogers.

He then personally voiced his opposition to the scheme
to the Emir, the `absolute ruler` of Qatar, over tea at
Clarence House. The move sparked panic in Qatar, and the
design for the 12.8 acre barracks site was dropped.

Candy then sued Qatari Diar, claiming breach of
contract.

Today, Justice Vos said the Prince`s intervention in
the planning process was "no doubt unexpected and unwelcome".

The judge urged both sides to put aside their
grievances, work together and stop wasting millions on court
action.

He said: "It may still not be too late. It will be
commendable if the outcome of this judgement were that the
parties, even at this late stage, started to work
collaboratively together.

PTI



First Published: Friday, June 25, 2010 - 21:30

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