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Prince Denounces ‘Uglification’ of Tourism

September 13, 1996

LONDON (AP) _ Resuming his role as royal architecture critic, Prince Charles is complaining about shoddy tourist development and the ``uglification″ of fragile beauty spots.

Writing in Green Hotelier, a magazine he launched a year ago, Charles praised the ``handful of sensitive developers, planners, architects and builders.″

``For many places the process of uglification through insensitive development for mass tourism and the destruction of natural environments, townscapes and fragile ecosystems have demonstrated, vividly and tragically, the limits to sustainability,″ he said.

The heir to the British throne said there was no need to look further than the edge of Hyde Park in central London, where many of the highest-priced hotels were built, to see the problem.

But Jeremy Logie, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said Charles was being ``commercially unrealistic.″

``Hotels are primarily commercial concerns and have to be built in a certain way. It’s up to planning authorities to say whether a hotel is unsightly,″ Logie said.

Jonathan Bodlender, chairman of hotel consultant company Horwath, said hotels aren’t the only structures worthy of criticism.

``Prince Charles is right to have a go at some hotels for being ugly, but the biggest eyesore is a little closer to home for him,″ he said,

The Knightsbridge army barracks near Buckingham Palace is ``a uniquely horrible and ugly building,″ he said, ``and being a military establishment, it did not need planning permission.″

Charles first spoke out on architectural issues in 1984 when he famously described a proposed extension to London’s National Gallery, off Trafalgar Square, as a ``monstrous carbuncle on the face of a well-loved friend.″

Britain’s normally racy tabloid press went into overdrive with a series of scholarly articles attempting to explain to puzzled readers what ``carbuncle″ meant. It meant ``malignant tumor,″ the newspapers decided.

Since then, Charles has attracted both praise and criticism for his views on architecture.

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