Charles is told he must be more open about estate

Ross Lydall
3 Nov 2011

The Prince of Wales has been ordered to open up his 700-year-old private estate to public scrutiny in a landmark ruling.

The Information Rights Tribunal decided that the Duchy of Cornwall – which paid Charles an income of £17.8 million in the last financial year – was a “public authority” under environmental protection laws.

This gives members of the public the right to obtain information about the duchy’s activities in a host of areas, from air quality to its activities on the coastline.

Lawyer Kate Harrison, whose firm represented campaigner Michael Bruton, told the Standard: “The legal significance is that, at least in relation to the environment, the Prince of Wales and Duchy of Cornwall can’t act like a private individual. They have to open it up to democratic scrutiny.”

The case began three years ago when Mr Bruton demanded information about an oyster farm on duchy land in Cornwall.

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