planning consultants move to larger premises

First published in News

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A Craven rural development and planning advisory business has moved to larger premises in Skipton.

Rural Solutions, previously at Broughton Hall Business Park, has moved to the recently converted Canalside House, part of the complex also including Craven District Council.

From a start of just three people in 2009, it has grown to a team of more than 20 and with new offices in the South and Scotland.

Its managing director, William Fry, says the company has made the most of new opportunities made possible by government changes to planning legislation.

Over the last five years, it has seen an average growth of 67 per cent on the year before - despite the recession and house building crisis.

"We needed a space that offered flexibility and the opportunity for continuous growth," said Mr Fry.

"The recent changes in planning legislation represent the most positive environment towards development in the past 25 years and we are entering a new chapter for our business.

"The investment in new premises is a direct response to the growth of the market and the demands of our clients."

"When we started out in 2009, there just three of us working flat out, but we had a clear vision.

"Through acquisition, investment in the right people and talent, plus an ambitious plan to introduce new offices nationwide we have grown to a team of 20, plus permanent colleagues and we are currently recruiting."

From its Skipton base, the business has pushed south with the opening of two offices. Duncan Hartley, director of planning, manages the south east, and Rob Jones Davies manages business development for the south west.

Mr Fry added that the business's top 24 per cent of its clients accounted for 80 per cent of its turnover.

"These clients tend to work with us long term and buy at least two or more of the core services we have on offer - advisory, planning and design, and project management," he said.

"While Rural Estate clients equate to 42 per cent of our businesses, we have seen a significant increase in work being carried out for corporates, particularly in the North of the UK, accounting for 27 per cent of revenues generated."

He added that Rural Solutions would continue to support rural life.

"The rural market place is thriving and changing, further liberalisation of planning and improving technoloigies is making the countryside a more attractive proposition for business development and diversification," he said.

"We hope that through our sensitive and considered approach, we will continue to support rural life and make the countryside a place where people can choose to live, work and play."

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