The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has had its funding withdrawn in the quango cuts through which the Coalition is saving the country from bankruptcy and shame. But does this mean that no one’s going to bother about what we see? Just a week after the quango’s abolition, the Foundation for the Built Environment has very kindly made an offer to take over the job and give design advice on projected plans. HRH the Prince of Wales is the president of the foundation, which employs HRH-approved architects and town planners devoted to overcoming the blight of modernism with traditional architecture, such as the much-troubled Poundbury, the Duchy Original of Disneyfied old home towns. The Foundation is not even asking for public funding for doing the job, it will review public architecture plans on a fee basis.
Last year, the prince screwed Richard Rogers’s design for the redevelopment of the Chelsea Barracks by writing to the Emir of Qatar, prompting a high court judge to call the intervention ‘unexpected and unwelcome’. But it’s clear from his new book that Charles knows in a deep and mystical way what’s right for the planet and how to save it, so it’s only reasonable that he should take advantage of the loss of a public body to step in and ensure things are done properly in accordance with Nature’s laws.