RIBA speak up for Rogers

Friday 12 Jun 2009

As Chelsea Barracks design is pulled, RIBA President Sunand Prasad releases a scathing statement against the decision

Earlier today Project Blue (Guernsey) Limited (“PBGL”), the owner and developer of the Chelsea Barracks site, in London's prestigious borough, announced it had dropped its planning application for the Rogers' design following months of opposition from local residents and the Prince of Wales.

In a move of unison, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has responded to the decision to withdraw the planning application, leaving no doubt over their stance on the matter.

Speaking today, RIBA President Sunand Prasad said:"I am dismayed by the withdrawal of the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners designs for Chelsea Barracks, and the colossal waste of effort, goodwill and expense. This decision clearly has more to with external pressure than the merits of the scheme and that is a sad turn of events in a painstakingly conducted planning process.

“I am all for HRH The Prince of Wales setting out his principles as regards sustainability and an architecture that connects with nature, but for him to intervene in individual schemes going through the planning process is quite wrong. However I do not see this as defeat for modern architecture; more a case of prince speaking unto prince."

PBGL's spokesman had said: "We recognise the complexity of the planning process and we are pleased to have had the support of the planners and many consultees including the GLA, CABE, The Royal Hospital and some of our neighbours. We acknowledge however that there are differing views from various other quarters; we are very grateful to Westminster for the time and effort spent on the process to date and look forward to working very closely with them in the coming months. As part of the process to find the right solution we are already in discussion with The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment."

Read the full story HERE

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