TRANSACTIONS made by a property company linked to Prince Charles are under investigation by a charity watchdog.

The Scottish Charity Regulator is currently looking into the purchase of 11 properties by Havisham Group on the Knockroon development in Ayrshire, the Observer has reported. The development was originally bought by Prince Charles along with the nearby mansion Dumfries House.

These properties, owned by the Prince’s Foundation and believed to have been bought between 2012 and 2017 for £1.7 million, were originally envisaged as part of an eco-village which it was hoped would aid in the regeneration of the former mining community. However, only 31 out of 770 homes planned for the project were built due to lack of demand.

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A spokesperson for the office of the Scottish Charity Regulator commented: “We can confirm that the work of Havisham Group and property transactions relating to the Knockroon development in Ayrshire forms part of our overall investigation, work on which is ongoing.”

The news follows allegations published in the Sunday Times that the ennoblement of Havisham Properties owner and Tory peer Lord Brownlow came after Prince Charles accepted several million pounds in donations from him.

Brownlow was made a trustee of the Prince’s Foundation in 2013, which manages Dumfries House, and helped to extricate Prince Charles from the eco-village project, which the heir to the throne reportedly hoped would help pay off the £20 million loan taken out to originally buy Dumfries House.

After Brownlow allegedly bought the unwanted properties and stepped down as a Prince’s Foundation trustee, he was made a Commander of the Victorian Order (CVO) in 2018, which a Prince’s Foundation spokesperson said was “in recognition of his role of chair of the charity the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community".

The Scottish Charity Regulator investigation follows reports that Prince Charles will no longer be accepting large cash donations for his charities, after an investigation was launched by the Charity Commission following claims that he personally accepted cash donations of three million euros for his charitable foundation from former Qatar prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim. These donations were reportedly handed over in a small suitcase, a holdall, and Fortnum & Mason carrier bag.

A statement from Clarence House said: “Charitable donations received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim were passed immediately to one of the Prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate governance and have assured us that all the correct processes were followed.”