CPC boss describes how architect refused to make changes requested by the London mayor

Christian Candy spoke yesterday about Lord Rogers’ reaction to Boris Johnson’s requests to make changes to the Chelsea Barracks scheme.

Candy, who was giving evidence in a court case in which he is suing Qatari Diar for £81m for breach of contract, described Rogers Stirk Harbour as “precious” about their design.

Candy made the comment when asked by Qatari Diar’s barrister about the practical problems the developers faced when Johnson raised concerns about a “relentless uniformity” of the design.

He said: “ […] they don’t like their buildings designed on mass by people. They are the architects, they are the designers. And Rogers are very precious about the designs they do, and therefore are willing to listen to their clients but are not willing to be told by their clients of exactly the changes that then they have to make.”

Candy, who spoke to Rogers on at least two occasions about Johnson’s concerns, said Rogers had been willing to make some adjustments to the rear of Chelsea Bridge Road but he refused to alter the front elevation.

Candy asserted in court that he always believed the Rogers design would have gained planning consent, even after with the mayor’s reservations and Prince Charles’ interventions.

He argued that withdrawing the planning application was “not the right route”.

He said: “If you weren’t politically sensitive […]and you weren’t affected by the Prince of Wales or the Qatari royals, what I would have done in this situation is banked the planning consent and then go back and revise it afterwards.”

CPC, owned by Candy, had a sale and purchase agreement with Qatari Diar, which it argues entitled it to a deferred protected consideration of upto £81m if the planning application for Chelsea Barracks was withdrawn.