One of Northern Ireland’s best-known planning consultants has taken the bold step of setting up a new planning consultancy business in Belfast, despite the challenges faced by the local development and construction sectors.
Clyde Shanks says that his new eponymous company – established with support from Ulster Bank – will offer a full range of planning consultancy services, blending a focus on traditional core sectors of the local development market whilst targeting growth areas such as renewable energy.
The new company has already secured work on major development schemes, including the construction of a major commercial leisure scheme and on a number of planned renewable energy projects.
Clyde Shanks says that despite the perception of a challenging market, he believes there are still good opportunities for an independent local planning consultancy
“The market is certainly very different from a few years ago, but many of the changes that have taken place present opportunities. There is so much to be done over the next 10 years in planning development of our energy infrastructure, both in terms of new renewable sources and the necessary grid infrastructure expansion. There is also pressing work to be done in re-adjusting and re-shaping development schemes planned at the height of the boom. There is a sense that we are returning to reality and starting to concentrate on what is genuinely deliverable” he points out.
“With the changes that have taken place in the market, I also think there is now an even greater focus on personal relationships. Clients are looking for flexible, locally-owned firms for valuable advice. One of the reasons I decided to set up the new business was to offer excellent levels of professional service and quality of advice at an affordable price” he adds.
Kelly-Anne Grier, Business Manager at Ulster Bank says: “We are very pleased to support Clyde who has great experience and a very strong track-record working on many of Northern Ireland’s most significant development projects. He is passionate about making a difference to each client’s business and, is a highly respected planning professional who has a very strong vision for his new company.”
Clyde Shanks was previously Director of Planning at the Belfast office of Turley Associates since 2005. He has been working in planning in Northern Ireland since 1999, having previously worked in a number of roles in London.
Services his new company will offer include advice on all planning aspects associated with residential , retail, mixed use regeneration, education, sports and leisure and industrial and commercial sectors as well as expert witness licensing skills.
Further information on the services offered by Clyde Shanks Planning Consultancy is available at: www.clydeshanks.com/home.