Birmingham-based Richborough Estates is gearing up for growth with the appointment of a top planning expert as strategic land director.
The Waterloo Street-based development company has recruited Mike Jones, who has 30 years of experience in the public and private planning sector.
Richborough director Paul Campbell said: “Mike’s appointment is a major declaration of intent by Richborough. We want to build on the success of our recent deals at Bath Vale Works in Congleton and Uplands Mill at Biddulph and we have an aggressive business plan for 2011 and beyond.”
Mr Jones began his professional planning career 30 years ago at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council where he spent nearly ten years.
He moved into the private sector in 1990, initially setting up and managing a town planning and development consultancy, before joining Crest Nicholson plc in 1997 to establish a new strategic land facility covering the Midlands region.
In 2001 he joined a newly-established development company called Oakmoor Estates initially as land and planning director before being promoted to managing director in 2005.
During his time at Oakmoor he was responsible for acquiring and project directing a number of regeneration projects, including the redevelopment of a historic former coaching hotel in Lichfield, the redevelopment of the former head post office in Coventry and the development of the £130 million mixed use Belgrade Plaza scheme also in Coventry City Centre.
Since leaving Oakmoor Estates in 2007, he resurrected his previous role as a town planning consultant, initially with Savills where he was employed as a planning director before establishing his own planning and development company working from his home village in Brandon, Warwickshire.
He said: “I was attracted to Richborough’s approach to securing planning consent working in partnership with the relevant stakeholders and with the local community. The Coalition Government is espousing the importance of ensuring that local people should be involved in helping to shape their community and so the fact that this has always been Richborough’s approach to promoting development projects puts us in an ideal position to benefit from the promised changes to the planning system.
“I bring an in-depth knowledge of what the private sector wants and how the public sector works within the planning process and so I can use that experience to help Richborough build upon the success it has already had in bringing forward development projects.”
Richborough director Danny Parkinson said: “We are always seeking new opportunities. Because Richborough Estates are not house builders, we are happy to work with landowners to secure planning permissions now, at our cost, in readiness for selling to house builders. The firm is currently working on a site at Sandbach and has several other opportunities in the pipeline.