Cheshire East confirms MD’s exit from Engine of the North

Paul Unger

Cheshire East Council has issued a statement about the departure of Darran Lawless from his post as managing director of the development vehicle, Engine of the North.

Caroline Simpson, Cheshire East Council’s executive director for planning and economic development, said: “Further to recent press speculation [on Place North West] I wish to confirm that Darran Lawless has resigned as managing director of Engine of the North to pursue other business opportunities.

“Darran was instrumental in establishing a team and successfully managing the development company on behalf of the council. In his two years as MD the company was responsible for 10 sites and to date has sold or entered into legal agreements to dispose of four sites for consideration significantly in excess of book value.

“In addition during his role as MD, planning applications have been prepared or submitted for a further three sites which, if successful, will help deliver many homes.”

Darran Lawless said: “Although I’m sad to leave my role as MD of Engine of the North, I now have the opportunity to pursue other interests, including establishing my own development business active in residential/mixed-use throughout the region.

“I’ve enjoyed the challenge of establishing a company and building a team from scratch on behalf of the authority, along with the significant results secured including the disposal of the Remenham site in Wilmslow, and agreeing terms and Cabinet approval to sell the site at Earl Road, Handforth – both for substantial uplifts in book value.

“In addition to these successes we’ve prepared or submitted planning applications for a further three sites at South Macclesfield, Leighton Green Crewe and Nantwich, which have the potential to unlock development of over 1,000 homes. Finally I wish the Council and in particular my team every success in the future.”

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