A charity has confirmed it is investigating the dealings of a property company which allegedly bought houses on an Ayrshire estate from an affiliate of the Prince’s Foundation.
The company, Havisham Properties, is under scrutiny for buying 11 properties on the Knockroon development in Scotland – originally acquired as farmland by Prince Charles when he bought the mansion neighbour, Dumfries House.
The homes, believed to have been bought between 2012 and 2017 for £1.7million, were originally designed as an eco-village to attract jobs and revitalize the former mining community.
A spokesman for the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said: “We can confirm that the work of the Havisham Group and the property transactions relating to the Knockroon development in Ayrshire form part of our overall investigation, into which the work are in class.”
It follows allegations published in the Sunday time that Prince Charles knighted businessman and Havisham Properties owner Lord Brownlow after accepting millions of pounds in donations from him.
The Tory peer, who in 2013 was made a trustee of the Prince’s Foundation, which runs Dumfries House, helped bail Prince Charles out of the failed eco-village scheme after only 31 out of 770 homes failed were built due to a lack of demand. It has been reported that the Prince hopes the project will help repay the £20million loan he took out to buy Dumfries House.
In 2018, after Brownlow, 58, reportedly finalized his purchase of the unwanted properties and stepped down as trustee, the prince presented him with a royal honor at Buckingham Palace.
The Tory peer, who rose to prominence after funding the controversial refurbishment of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat, has been made a Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO).
“Lord Brownlow was appointed CVO in 2018 in recognition of his role as chair of the charity Prince’s Foundation for Community Building,” a spokeswoman for the Prince’s Foundation told the newspaper.
It follows reports that the Prince of Wales will no longer accept large cash donations for his charities after he was criticized for personally receiving €3million in cash from a billionaire Qatari sheikh. The money was reportedly handed over in a small Fortnum & Mason suitcase, tote and carry bag.
The money was passed on to the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who served as Prime Minister of Qatar between 2007 and 2013.