Charity watchdog probes property firm linked to Prince Charles’ failed eco development

The Scottish Charity Regulator will look into 11 purchases made by Havisham Properties

<p>The Prince of Wales reportedly gave an honour to Lord Brownlow, owner of Havisham Properties, after he bought houses at Knockroon eco village</p>

The Prince of Wales reportedly gave an honour to Lord Brownlow, owner of Havisham Properties, after he bought houses at Knockroon eco village

An investigation has been launched into payments made by a property company that reportedly bought homes on Prince Charles’ failed eco development in Ayrshire.

The Scottish Charity Regulator has confirmed it will look into 11 purchases made by Havisham Properties on Knockroon, a development intiated by the heir to the throne as part of regeneration plans around the nearby Dumfries House estate, the Observer reports.

The homes on the estate owned by The Prince’s Foundation, which the royal initially envisioned would constitute an eco village intended to regenerate the the former mining community, are believed to have been bought between 2012and 2017.

A spokesman for the charity watchdog said: “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.”

It comes after reports in the Sunday Times that the future king gave an honour to Lord Brownlow, the owner of Havisham Properties, after he made the Knockroon purchases, which totalled £1.7 million.

The Tory peer was made a trustee at the Prince’s Foundation and later made a Commander of the Victorian Order in 2018. A CVO can be awarded by the monarchy without the recommendation of the prime minister.

It is alleged that the donations by Brownlow were made to help bail out the development after just 31 of the planned 770 homes were built on the £20 million estate.

The tycoon reportedly completed his purchase of the homes in 2018 and stood down as a trustee, at which point he was awarded the royal honour at Buckingham Palace.

“Lord Brownlow was appointed CVO in 2018 in recognition of his role of chair of the charity the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community,” a Prince’s Foundation spokesperson told the Sunday Times.

It comes after a royal source claimed that Prince Charles will no longer handle large cash donations to be passed to his charities after he was criticised for reportedly being presented with €3m (£2.6m) in cash - some of it in a suitcase - from a former Qatari prime minister between 2011 and 2015.

The Sunday Times reported the future king personally accepted the contributions to his charity the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, who led Qatar’s govermment between 2007 and 2015.

Brownlow shot to fame after prime minister Boris Johnson asked him to authorise cash for a refurbishment of his taxpayer-funded Downing Street flat in November 2020.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in