Avison Young’s Manchester-based planning principal Jon Suckley has left the company to launch an independent planning consultancy, and Richard Barton is now heading up the department.
Barton, also a planning principal in the Manchester office of the property services firm, has assumed full responsibility for the planning division, which Avison expanded with the acquisition of GVA in February 2019.
GVA in turn had acquired boutique consultancy HOW Planning the previous year, and many of Avison’s current and former planning staff, including Barton, Suckley and principal Gary Halman – who remains in post – originally worked at HOW.
Suckley, who was with GVA for 15 years as a partner then senior director after a stint as a planner at Macclesfield Council, is expected to launch his new venture in the coming weeks, after completing his notice period at Avison earlier this month.
Chris Cheap, principal and managing director of Avison Young in Manchester, said: “We can confirm that Richard Barton now has sole responsibility for the leadership of Manchester’s planning team, closely supported by directors Richard Woodford, Gary Halman, Conor Vallelly and Neil Lucas.”
“Jon Suckley left the business at the end of March,” he added. “Together with Richard and his fellow directors, Jon played an important role in supporting the successful integration of HOW Planning into Avison Young following the acquisition of the planning practice in 2018 and we wish him all the best.
“Richard has over 15 years’ experience and advises many of our valued clients, so we are delighted that he is taking our planning business forward as we continue to emerge from the pandemic and see new opportunities gather pace.”
A planning principal in development and regeneration at Avison, Barton previously worked for HOW for 14 years. In his current role, he has worked across high-profile planning projects in the North West, including Airport City for developers Stoford and the Hut Group; Alderley Park in Cheshire; Kelloggs Trafford for Bruntwood and 3 St Peters Square for Property Alliance Group, among others.
He said: “This is an amicable departure and I wish Jon well. I look forward to continuing to work with the fantastic planning team and clients we have at Avison Young.”
Suckley told Place North West: “I have spent 16 happy years at HOW, GVA and more recently Avison Young as part of one of the most successful inhouse planning teams in Manchester and the North of England.
“I would like to thank everyone at Avison Young and wish them continued success in the future. It is a great company, but I am now looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that will come my way as I forge ahead with my own new independent planning consultancy business.”