Concerns over palace security plans
Concerns have been raised about the public availability of proposed security measures for the Kensington Palace home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
A planning application detailing measures to increase protection for the royal couple when they move into the historic building next year can be viewed at council offices.
Ken Wharfe, a former protection officer to the Princess of Wales and William and Prince Harry during the late 1980s and much of the 1990s, described the situation as "gross incompetence".
He said: "I don't know why we have this open door policy. If you apply to have alterations to your property, the plans are available for inspection at the town hall. (But) given the high profile of William and Kate and the Royal Family generally and the real security risk to them, not to us, quite frankly it's gross incompetence. To have any security on view to the general public, I can't see the point."
William and Kate will make their home in the former Palace apartment of Princess Margaret in mid-2013 after extensive work is carried out to the property to make it habitable.
The application submitted in November lists external safety measures that include a CCTV system, pop-up bollards, spiked railings, and a double-door entry system.
It was reported by the Evening Standard that a member of the Royal Household Property Section, which submitted the application, asked for the details not to enter the "public domain".
But the public can see the documents after applying in writing for an appointment to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's planning department, then producing proof of identity when they arrive.
A council planning officer said they had followed the "sensitive applications protocol" and only made the papers available at council buildings. She added: "If someone wants to view the files they can make a request to our executive director to see the files and come into the office to see them."
St James's Palace declined to comment.