Brian Barden

Lakes planner retires after nearly 50 years

Planning consultant, Brian Barden, retired this week after being involved in planning within Cumbria for 47 years.

Starting out in 1968 with the former Westmorland Council, Barden’s career in the county took him to Eden District Council and the Lake District National Park Authority before he set up his own practice in Kendal town centre in 1986.

In 2011, Barden Planning was acquired by Lancashire-based Steven Abbott Associates LLP who retained Brian as a consultant on its many Cumbrian residential and commercial projects.

A well-known figure in planning and development across the region, Barden has worked on projects in housing, retail, agriculture and tourism, as well as assisting many private clients.

His contribution to planning – particularly in the Lake District – was warmly acknowledged by Steven Abbott at Brian’s send-off last week at the Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley, which was attended by clients and colleagues from across the region’s planning industry.

Barden said: “I have been greatly privileged over the past 47 years to meet hundreds of interesting people and see thousands of fascinating places throughout the Lake District. I know that I will miss continuing to do so but I am reassured that as a consequence of Steven Abbott Associates acquiring my business, the interests of all past and present clients will be well looked after.”

His place with Steven Abbott Associates has been filled by Andrew Tait, who joined the consultancy from the Cairngorms National Park Authority two years ago to transition and grow SAA’s presence in Cumbria from its base in Kendal. Having worked with Brian for two years Andrew is already well known to the practice’s clients in the area and has a strong understanding of the unique sensitivities surrounding planning in the region.

Steven Abbott commented: “We and our clients in Cumbria will of course greatly miss Brian’s presence – he has made an exceptional contribution to protecting and enhancing the region during his 47-year career. But having worked with Andrew who, as an ideal replacement, is already making an excellent contribution to a number of significant projects in the county, we are confident that Brian’s insight and legacy will continue to have an impact, long after his retirement.”

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