Prince Charles faces ‘significant local uprising’ over his plans to build 2,500 eco-homes on Kent farmland after council failed to properly consult people in the area
Principe Carlo is facing a ‘significant local uprising’ over his plans to build 2,500 new eco-homes on an area of Kent farmland, residents say.
The royal’s Duchy of Cornwall estate wants build the green homes – which will be powered entirely by renewable energy – on the outskirts of Faversham in Kent.
Bosses behind the estate argue the scheme ‘follows the Prince’s vision’ to deliver the ‘most sustainable’ homes possible, and will address a housing crisis in the medieval market town.
However locals have opposed the blueprints. They have raised fears that the eco-development will clog up roads and endanger wildlife.
And they say the Duchy of Cornwall, which is fronted by Prince Charles, 73, as the eldest son of the reigning monarch, faces a ‘significant local uprising’ over the proposals.
Now the plans have hit a setback following a legal row between the planning authority and a local developer who protested the scheme.
The fallout from the legal wrangle, which recently reached the High Court, could hold up the Prince’s proposals for more than a year, locals believe.
Principe Carlo (nella foto) is facing a ‘significant local uprising’ over his plans to build 2,500 new eco-homes on an area of Kent farmland
The royal’s Duchy of Cornwall estate wants build the green homes – which will be powered entirely by renewable energy – on the outskirts of Faversham in Kent. Nella foto: The site of the planned development
Bosses behind the estate argue the scheme (nella foto: A sketch of the proposals) ‘follows the Prince’s vision’ to deliver the ‘most sustainable’ homes possible, and will address a housing crisis in the medieval market town
However locals have opposed the blueprints. They have raised fears that the eco-development will clog up roads and endanger wildlife. Nella foto: A graphic showing the areas of land
It comes following a legal challenge against the local authority Swale Borough Council by Quinn Estates, a developer which has protested the Duchy of Cornwall’s proposals.
What is the Duchy of Cornwall?
Dating back to the 14th Century and Edward III, the Duchy of Cornwall is one of the two royal duchies of England.
Unlike the Duchy of Lancaster – which is the private estate of the British Sovereign – the Duchy of Cornwall and its title of Duke of Cornwall is the possession of the eldest son of the reigning monarch.
Currently therefore, it is Prince Charles – the 24th Duke of Cornwall.
And when Prince Charles ascends the throne, the Duchy and the title will become Prince William’s.
When the monarch has no male children, the rights and responsibilities of the duchy revert to the Crown.
The revenues from the Duchy of Cornwall, which consists of around 53,000 hectares of land in 23 quasi due milioni di persone nella San Francisco Bay Area sono state poste in un'emergenza per carenza d'acqua mercoledì poiché sono state emesse restrizioni idriche obbligatorie per i residenti della contea di Santa Clara, mostly in the South West of England, goes to Prince Charles.
He chooses to use them to fund his public, charitable and private activities and those of his family.
Though the Duchy of Cornwall is the possession of the Duke of Cornwall, it is operated day-to-day by the Prince’s Council – a non-executive body which provides advice to the duke with regard to the management of the Duchy.
The Duchy capital account has increased from £408million to £763million since 2004, and the surplus has increased £9.9million to £19million over the same period.
The developer accused the council of failing to properly consult the public about the plans to build the 2,500 new homes on the 320 acres of agricultural land.
It also accused the council of not giving enough detail about the impacts that Covid-19 could have on the project.
Now it can be revealed that the High Court has ordered the council to pay £20,000 to the Quinn Estates.
The financial award was made at a Queen’s Bench Division hearing on November 23.
Speaking in the wake of the court decision, local Michael Cosgrove, who has lived in the town for 56 anni, said the authority had appeared to rush to champion the Duchy’s proposals.
‘The whole thing has been terribly handled. And the Duchy finds itself at the centre of a significant local uprising,’ Egli ha detto.
‘If they had done this properly from step one there would have been time for proper consultation.
‘But now this will be beset by delays as opposing councillors quite rightly question every move.’
The 76-year-old added: ‘There is no way the council has had enough time to competently carry out this suite of assessments, so you can expect their new proposals to be very strongly challenged.’
The council is supposed to consult the public under Town and Local Planning Regulations 2012.
It then must form a local plan based on their responses. But Mr Cosgrove said Swale Borough Council appeared to rush to champion the Duchy’s proposals.
Egli ha detto: ‘A lot of mystery surrounds the thinking of Swale council.
‘There have been some serious irregularities about how this proposal has been handled.
‘They were caught out by not going through the proper regulations, as they were supposed to, and we have been left with a rushed public consultation.’
The controversial plan has already been branded a ‘monstrosity’ that directly contradicted Boris Johnson’s promise that no more homes would be ‘jammed in the south east’ on green fields.
However the Duchy argues the plan is ‘following the prince’s vision’ to deliver the ‘most sustainable’ homes possible.
It comes following a legal challenge against the local authority Swale Borough Council by Quinn Estates, a developer which has protested the Duchy of Cornwall’s proposals
Under the plans (nella foto: An artist’s impression of the plans), the homes would range from one-bed to six-bed, have solar panels and be powered fully by renewable energy. As per government guidelines, 30 per cent will be affordable.
The homes could be built on the land sandwiched between the M2 and A2 to the south of the town.
The estate acquired the plot 20 years ago and first proposed the plans in response to a call to landowners for potential housing sites in 2018.
It finally unveiled them at a public meeting and drop-in consultation late last year, with a view to lodging the plans next year.
Homes would range from one-bed to six-bed, have solar panels and be powered fully by renewable energy. As per government guidelines, 30 per cent will be affordable.
It is not the first time Swale Borough Council has come under fire.
In August it rejected a string of planning applications, including one from an animal sanctuary, which it called ‘whack’ in a bizarre administrative error.
It was running a dummy trial of software, with a staff member randomly refusing and approving applications with their own comments.
The estate acquired the plot 20 years ago and first proposed the plans (nella foto: A sketch of the plans) in response to a call to landowners for potential housing sites in 2018
But the rulings stood, with the decisions and reasons behind them sent to the applicants in the post.
Of the latest gaffe Swale Borough Council said it was content it had followed standard procedures.
It said it would honour the High Court ruling and confirmed it had paid the £20,000 costs to Quinn Estates.
A Swal Borough Council spokesperson said: ‘We’re confident that we’ve followed the correct processes in preparing the local plan review.
‘We carried out a regulation 18 consultation in 2018 and a regulation 19 consultation in 2020.
‘We considered the feedback from the regulation 19 consultation and, along with the changes in government policy including a revised NPPF published in July 2021 and the impacts of covid starting to bed down, we decided it would be beneficial to undertake further regulation 18 consultation to give people the opportunity to comment on the changes and new issues.
‘We’re also planning for a second regulation 19 consultation in 2022.
‘We’ve provided three opportunities for people to comment on how and where new development should be delivered in Swale, with a fourth planned for the coming year, and we’re satisfied that our levels of consultation with the public has been thorough.’
The Duchy of Cornwall estate has been contacted for a comment.