Ex-Bovis veteran John Howell parts company with developer as UK work diminishes to single scheme

John Howell has left developer Candy & Candy after the firm axed the role of group construction director.

The company’s large UK projects under development have dwindled to a single scheme, One Hyde Park, which is being built by Laing O’Rourke. It left its Noho Square and Chelsea Barracks projects last year.

The Candy brothers suffered another setback last month when it emerged that the Project Lotus scheme in Beverley Hills, which stalled after the collapse of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, would be sold at auction, with no guarantee the developer, Christian Candy’s CPC, would recoup its $500m (£332m) stake.

However, the brothers were linked at the weekend with a bid for the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane in west London.

As a valued professional it is with much regret that john is leaving Candy & Candy

Howell, who is best known for the 35 years he spent at Bovis, joined Candy & Candy in April 2007. It is understood that he left after a compromise agreement, under which he released the firm from its contract in return for a financial settlement.

A Candy & Candy spokesperson said: “John joined the business as group construction director working on our major projects, a role that is no longer required. As a valued professional it is with much regret that he is leaving the organisation.”

Howell left Bovis in March 2007 after Murray Coleman, its then UK chief executive, gave his job as head of UK South to Julian Daniel. His job at Candy & Candy was to oversee its construction pipeline.

It was rumoured last week that the Candys were preparing a bid for the five-star Grosvenor, which is owned by RBS, and adjacent apartments to create a luxury residential scheme. RBS is thought to be hoping to sell the hotel for more than £500m.