the 4c’s of development


The 4Cs hotel group are building a 380-room hotel next to the 200 flats in the Guinness Trust social housing estate in the City of London. These two worlds will live side by side. They’ll be neighbours long into the future. Above is the imagined world of the hotel. Here’s a photo of the estate.


But why 4Cs? They like to foresee the future, that’s where they get their name from, according to a vision video on the homepage of their website.

But those four c’s also stand for their core values of “communication”, “consideration”, “customer service” and another one I can’t now remember. Sounds like one of my sermons.

Today I had cause to speak to their communications manager, a woman called Katherine Newcombe, because residents have been told that the hotel developer is considering continuing with demolition without first waiting for the double glazing to be installed, as was promised. Indeed as was legally agreed. This was a condition of receiving planning permission to mitigate nuisance. It was part of their Statement of Community Involvement. It was written into the Section 106 agreement. “We were expecting it to be done. That was clearly the understanding of the intent” said Katherine the PR woman.

al-karim_240_240_80auto_c1But they are losing money. The boss of the firm, a man called Bashir Nathoo, came down to meet the residents last week: “He’s not a PR man, he believes in honest conversation, describing the reality as he sees it” said their PR woman, “and he explained that because he was holding back on demolition it was costing him money. He said that the delay was a problem, that it was costing him £30K a week”.

Apparently he also said that he might just ignore the legal agreement and carry on.

Oh yes – that fourth “c”, I’ve just remembered: it stands for business with a social conscience.