Charles was 'consulted over regional plans'

The Prince of Wales' consent was sought before legislation on regional plans was introduced in 2008, it has emerged.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles

A letter published by the Guardian today shows that Baroness Andrews, a communities and local government minister under Labour, wrote to Prince Charles to seek his consent to Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill because it would affect his interests concerning his private estate the Duchy of Cornwall.

The letter’s publication followed yesterday’s disclosure that the prince had the power to veto any legislation deemed to affect his interests.

Baroness Andrews wrote: "I write to formally request the consent of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to provisions to be included in the Government's proposed Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill."

Her letter concerned the Bill’s proposal for single regional strategies outside London, replacing the separate spatial and economic strategies.

"The regional strategy will be part of the statutory development plan for the area, so that applications for planning permission are required to be determined in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise," Baroness Andrews explained to the prince.

This affected his interests because it altered the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, which had applied planning legislation to the Crown.

"We consider that all of Part 5 of the current Bill is capable of applying to the Crown and the Queen and Prince of Wales's private interests, and therefore that consent is required," she wrote.

She also sought Prince Charles’ consent to other parts of the Bill concerned with the resolution of disputes in the construction industry.

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