After plans have been made public that Saudi investors intend to turn empty land at St Paul’s Cathedral into office space, Princes Charles has urged them to reconsider.
The Church of England has been privately negotiating with the Saudi Ryadh Investments (SRI) over a fee for the land. If purchased then the land, east of the cathedral, would be turned into 100,000 square feet of office space.
In the past the Church has struggled with the cost of repairing historic buildings all across the country but this £2billion deal could secure restoration projects for years to come.
However in a letter, to the managers of SRI, Prince Charles has suggested the development would be unwise and that SRI should seek another location.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, has said, “It is wholly unacceptable for any member of the royal family to involve themselves in private property dealings.”
“While many have enjoyed St Paul’s Cathedral over the years, few would deny that a well designed, environmentally friendly office block standing next to it would only improve the standing of our capital.”
The impact this letter has had is, as of yet, unclear.
Prince Charles, who has an active interest in architecture, has written similar letters in the past, expressing concern over new office space developments. For example the Prince once wrote a letter to the Qataris regarding a Chelsea Barracks development.