Marc Hourigan and Daniel Connolly have set up a new consultancy in Manchester offering planning and development advice.
The business, named simply Hourigan Connolly, has already won its first major planning permission, for an extension to Chester's Grade II* listed Oddfellows Hall to create a boutique hotel.
Before working together at Colliers CRE, the pair held senior positions at firms including Morris Homes, David Wilson Homes, David McLean, and CB Richard Ellis.
Connolly said: "We are noticing a return of activity in the marketplace as developers look to pick up a bargain and achieve early planning permissions.
"The Community Infrastructure Levy is just around the corner and we are already seeing some familiar names coming back into the market aiming to secure sites and planning permission before further changes to the planning system are implemented in 2010. We are both looking forward to the challenge ahead."
The new business is based in St James's Court in Brown Street.