Prince Charles could ditch Scottish eco village

Prince charles

Development of site near Cumnock has stalled 

4th February 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A 770 home eco village in Ayrshire being built by the Prince of Wales’ charity is in danger of being ditched.

Knockroon was billed by the Prince’s Foundation as a model community for Scotland with hundreds of environmentally efficient houses planned.

However, since 2011 only 31 homes have been completed with developers fearing there is far less demand than expected.

It is thought the majority of the 31 homes built so far have been sold to a multimillionaire benefactor of the prince with very few bought by the public. 

The development, near Cumnock, was to emulate the success of Poundbury which Prince Charles’s foundation build in Dorset.

The problem for buyers is that with so little uptake, the development remains isolated with few amenities and access to public transport practically non existent.  

By last year 300 homes should have been completed on the 69 acre site which borders Dumfries House, the historic estate brought back to life by the Prince’s Foundation.

Information filed with Companies House this month said that the charity was reconsidering the project.

The accounts show the charitable subsidiary responsible for Knockroon’s construction has losses of more than half a million pounds for the second successive year with while valuations now worth a third of what they were a year ago.

“The development company continues to work towards making good defects and developing the infrastructure for the roads and pavements,” the accounts state.

At its launch, the project was described by the Scottish Government as an “ambitious and inspiring” design example. 

Gordon Neil, deputy executive director of the Prince’s Foundation, said: “The Prince’s Foundation remains fully committed to realising its vision for Knockroon. A decade has passed since the creation of the masterplan for the site and much has changed in that time in terms of the local and wider economy.”

He said there remained strong interest for the planned homes.

“As in all long-term construction projects it is incumbent on us, the developers, to remain flexible and adaptable to changing conditions throughout the build,” Neil said.