Andy Farrow, head of planning and policy at the newly created unitary authority of Cheshire East, due to come into force on 1 April, is understood to have declined to take up the position in preference for another offer.
Farrow was formerly responsible for environmental planning at Cheshire County Council. He was appointed to the Cheshire East role in December.
Cheshire East is set to replace Congleton, Crewe and Nantwich, Macclesfield and Cheshire County Council.
Gary Halman, partner at HOW Planning, said Farrow's departure would not help the settling in process for the new authority. A recent briefing paper by HOW for clients suggested there would be further pain ahead for developers.
Halman wrote: "It is not yet clear what the exact working arrangements will be for development management in Cheshire East or where this section will be based…After the 1 April it is likely that each of the former borough councils will continue to accept applications in much the same way as previously, at least as an interim measure."
In the other new authority, Cheshire West & Chester, Alan Slater joins from Stoke to run the strategic housing and spatial planning department.
Farrow did not return calls when contacted by Place.