Documents show prince voiced concerns before planners decided on scheme

Documents released by the high court reveal that Prince Charles lobbied the deputy mayor of London against plans to redevelop the Chelsea Barracks site.

According to a report in the Guardian, the documents show that before democratically elected planners were due to decide on whether to grant planning permission, Charles briefed Sir Simon Milton, the official in charge of planning in the capital, about his concerns.

This raises questions over whether the prince abused his constitutional position by using his influence to distort the planning process.

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 scrapping of the development, with Christian Candy, the Qataris’ former development partner, claiming that Qatari Diar owe 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.