Property firm that bought Prince Charles’ eco-village in Scotland under scanner

Edited By: C Krishnasai
London Updated: Jul 04, 2022, 08:01 AM(IST)

Prince Charles at the centre of controversy Photograph:( AFP )

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The homes, which have been bought between 2012 and 2017 for £1.7million, were originally planned as an eco-village intended to attract jobs and revitalise the former mining community

A property company linked to Prince Charles is under the scanner of a charity watchdog for buying homes on an Ayrshire estate.

According to The Guardian, Havisham Properties purchased 11 properties on the Knockroon development in Scotland, which was originally acquired as a piece of farmland by Prince Charles when he bought the nearby mansion, Dumfries House.

The homes, which have been bought between 2012 and 2017 for £1.7million, were originally planned as an eco-village intended to attract jobs and revitalise the former mining community.

A spokesman for the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator told the British newspaper, “We can confirm that the work of Havisham Group and property transactions relating to the Knockroon development in Ayrshire forms part of our overall investigation, work on which is ongoing.”

The probe follows a report published in the Sunday Times that Prince Charles ennobled the businessman and owner of Havisham Properties, Lord Brownlow, in lieu of accepting millions of pounds in donations from him.

It is being claimed that Brownlow, who in 2013 was appointed as a trustee of the Prince’s Foundation that manages Dumfries House, helped bail Prince Charles out of the failed eco-village project after only 31 out of 770 homes were built due to a lack of demand.

It was reported that the prince hoped the project would help pay off the £20m loan he took out to buy Dumfries House.

In 2018, Brownlow was given royal honour at Buckingham Palace after completing his purchase of the unwanted properties and quit as a trustee.

It follows reports the Prince of Wales will no longer accept large cash donations for his charities after facing criticism over claims he personally received €3m in cash from a billionaire Qatari sheikh. The money was reportedly handed over in a small suitcase, a holdall and Fortnum & Mason carrier bag.

The cash was passed to the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who was the prime minister of Qatar between 2007 and 2013.

(With inputs from agencies)

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