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Prince's favourite architect demolishes listed lodges

Prince Charles' favourite architect, John Quinlan Terry, was fined £25,000 earlier this month after pleading guilty to demolishing two listed John Nash lodges in Regent's Park, in early December 2006.

Terry and contractors Walter Lily & Co. had been given consent by Westminster City Council to make an extension to Hanover Lodge, owned by Crown Estates. In the process, they demolished the two Grade II listed gate lodges, built in 1827.

On 3 October, Terry pleaded guilty to three offences under the Planning Act 1990, and was fined £25,000. The contractors, Walter Lilly & Co pleaded guilty to two offences for demolition of both lodges and were fined £20,000.

The two lodges were designed by John Nash, known for designing many of London's iconic buildings, including Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.

The demolished lodges were part of the Regent’s Park mansions in central London, amongst his most well known buildings.

Terry, well known for his 'traditional' designs said, that the lodges were in a poor state and needed redevelopment. "They were dangerous and needed to be shored up," he said.

He had permission to demolish the Coach House, not designed by John Nash, and in the process of doing so, one of the walls of the listed lodges collapsed. "The problem was the surrounding buildings, from a much later period," Terry said.

A spokesperson for Westminster City Council said, "The architect and the contractors failed to finalise a methods statement of how they were going to refurbish the two lodges."

Terry accepted it was a "straightforward error" but that, "The size of the fine was unexpected but sometimes the law can be an ass".

Westminster City Council's cabinet Member for Planning Robert Davis said; "For one of the country's pre-eminent architects to fall foul of the law is disappointing, but I hope the size of the fine will send a very clear signal to anybody who thinks they can damage or destroy listed buildings without regard, whoever they may be."

Westminster City Council plans to restore the buildings to their original condition.

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