Judge rules Qataris breached contract but brothers must wait for damages

The Candy brothers’ have won their case against Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund over the £3bn project to redevelop Chelsea Barracks, the design for which was scrapped after Prince Charles criticised it.

CPC Group, controlled by property entrepreneur Christian Candy, was claiming £81m in compensation. Judge Geoffrey Vos ruled today in London that Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment, the property arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, had breached the terms of its contract.

He said that CPC was not entitled to the early payment of £68.5m under the terms of the contract but said he would consider the issue at a future hearing, should CPC seek damages. He said: “CPC would, in theory, be entitled to damages.”

The Chelsea Barracks site was bought by Qatari Diar for almost £1bn. In the past weeks the High Court has been hearing a dispute over the withdrawal of the planning application for the development. Christian Candy, the Qataris’ former development partner, claimed that Qatari Diar owed him up to £81m which would have been paid had the scheme been granted planning consent.

The court previously heard that a senior executive from Qatari Diar had deleted emails referring to the prince and his private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, from the company’s Doha server. Following a court order, copies were found on a London-based server.

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