A leading planning consultancy in the South has strengthened its team with a heavyweight appointment from local government.

Dorset-based Ken Parke Planning Consultants Ltd (KPPC) has recruited chartered town planner and former planning chief Mark Axford as it continues to grow.

Mark brings more than 30 years’ experience in the public and private sector, most recently as planning policy manager at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council and interim head of planning at Bournemouth Borough Council.

His appointment as associate planning consultant supports KPPC’s growth strategy as demand rises from commercial and residential clients, especially mid-sized developers.

Ken, who founded KPCC with wife Angela in 2003, said: “Mark has arrived with a well-deserved reputation for excellence.

“It is tremendous coup to find a high-calibre appointment with Mark’s depth of experience, forensic planning knowledge and ability whose values and ambitions match our own.

“He will play a key role in supporting our existing and new clients as we continue to grow, especially as demand increases from all sectors for our significant expertise.”

Mark joins KPPC’s eight-strong team in Bournemouth from where they support clients across the South and nationwide.

He qualified with a degree and diploma in urban planning from the University of Westminster and studied for an MA in Environmental Assessment and Management at Oxford Brookes University.

Mark, who is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), began his extensive career in local government 1988, with a break when he worked for another planning consultancy in the South.

He said: “I am looking forward to working on a wide range of projects at KPPC.

“I enjoy helping to fulfil a client’s expectations, whether that is for new homes or for a major commercial scheme which creates jobs and supports the economy.”

KPPC serves clients across the South and nationwide, including property developers, land owners, affordable housing providers, pension fund managers, private individuals, householders and businesses.