Questions have been raised at the news that the Prince of Wales apparently tried to influence the choice of architect for One New Change, Land Securities’ £500 million retail and office space development next to St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The Guardian newspaper alleges that the Prince wrote to the company management suggesting that they substitute one of his more traditionalist architects for the scheme’s chosen designer, Jean Nouvel.
The situation has displeased some who see this move as overstepping the mark. “The Prince has an unusual amount of power which, under our constitution, is not designed to be used to interfere with the running of everyday affairs,” stated Sunand Prasad, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
“There was an open competition for this building and then along comes somebody with special powers seeking to influence the outcome in a blatant intervention.”