2023 has started with a bang for Origin Planning Services, a commercially-focused town planning practice that assists clients in navigating the complexities of the town planning system.
Just five months since Origin launched, its owner Stephen Litherland is proud to announce that the company has opened its second office, expanding its services into the North West.
The new office is based in Birchwood Park Warrington, and will be headed up by Director Mike Stone, a highly experienced Land and Planning professional whose path has crossed Stephens many times over the past few decades.
‘This is a position that’s been 20 years in the making,’ says Mike who joins the company from his previous position as Land Director at Gladman and who has worked at a senior level for Bellway Homes, Wain Homes and the Co-Operative Group among others.
‘Stephen and I worked together many years ago as Planning Officers at Middlesbrough council and later at Bellway Homes. We have similar outlooks and always spoke of one day working in business together. It’s very exciting that a plan we spoke of all those years ago has finally come to fruition. Our joint experience and different styles really complement each other and make for a knockout combination. Stephen is calmer and strategic, while I’m fast paced and tenacious. We are great sounding boards and bounce off each other. We both have solid planning heads whilst having that tenacity to drive schemes through at a fast pace.’
Mike joins Planning Consultant Elliott Bennett who recently moved across from Gately in the North West office, though the team of five which includes Stephen, Planner Charly Wilson and Assistant Planner Emily Andrews at Origin’s Teesside HQ, will share the workload and create an arc of services from the North East to the North West – with plans to further expand across Yorkshire in the near future.
‘Origin differs from other companies in that we are a one-stop shop with full-service offerings across land and planning, from getting that golden planning ticket through to introducing and disposing of sites, and work alongside some excellent consultants,’ says Mike.
‘We are first and foremost a proactive team for developers and investors, and work nationally for anyone who needs to engage with the UK planning system. We also offer land and property finding services, including intros between developers and landowners and also deal with retail and commercial schemes. We are also keen to get into other sectors including logistics and warehousing, and have an eye out for the green economy, sourcing battery and solar developments.’
Origin Planning Services already has some major players on its books including housebuilders Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon Homes, Keepmoat Homes, Bellway Homes, Gleeson and Miller Homes plus a long and varied list of medium-sized commercial organisations and smaller individual clients, and with Stephen and Mike’s joint commercial nous and experience across Councils plus Stephen’s insider house building expertise courtesy of his Acland Homes business, Origin is the perfect planning solution for projects large or small.
‘We certainly have influence and connections,’ smiles Mike, ‘But we also understand that the hard work starts when the planning application goes in. We understand how important timescales and budgets are to projects and land deals, and we keep our clients in the loop and advise them on every step of the way while they can sit back and let us do the magic!’
Stephen is excited to welcome Mike to the Origin team. ‘Clients can rest assured that they are in safe hands with Mike. His experience, expertise and results speak for themselves, and I know he will be an important part of our future and play a big part in our plans for expansion and development.’