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Paying the price for grand designs

With the property boom over, London's planners urgently need to rethink their priorities. And that doesn't mean looking to Prince Charles for inspiration

By Rowan Moore   August 2009

This June, the architects Rogers Stirk Harbour were unceremoniously sacked from a job designing a multi-billion pound housing project on the site of the former Chelsea Barracks. The reasons were not fully explained, and there may have been more than one, but the most obvious was that Prince Charles had written privately to the site’s owners, the Qatari Royal Family, urging them to reject the Rogers design.

That Prince Charles acted shamefully should not be in doubt. He showed arrogance and contempt for others, and abused the prestige of his inherited position. Having intervened decisively in a public arena, he…

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