The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has responded to the final judgement on the breach of contract Chelsea Barracks case, which closed at the High Court today.
RIBA President Ruth Reed said:
“The evidence presented to the High Court during this trial details the inappropriate behind-the-scenes methods used by The Prince of Wales to object to the original design for the Chelsea Barracks scheme, which effectively derailed a project which had been proceeding through the planning system.
“The UK has a democratic and properly constituted planning process: any citizen in this country is able to register their objections to proposed buildings with the appropriate local authority. The Prince of Wales, like any individual, is entitled to raise concerns about architecture, but we regret that on this occasion he failed to engage with the planning process entirely openly and appropriately.
“The message that this affair sends to overseas investors considering working on UK projects is very concerning; it is vital that we promote the UK as a world-class country where the best quality architecture can be invested in, and built.
“We value The Prince of Wales’ interest and experience in the built environment and the excellent work of The Prince’s Foundation, but one person in a position of considerable influence in public life should not be able to exert undue influence on democratic decision making.”