Southampton firm Paris Smith & Randall has hired an in-house planning expert, becoming one of the first South East firms outside London to do so.
Alan Sayle joins the firm from Southampton City Council, where he has been development control manager for 12 years. At the council Sayle advised on developments including Southampton FC's £32m St Mary's stadium and the £275m WestQuay Shopping Centre.
Paris Smith commercial property partner and head of planning Janet May worked opposite Sayle on both deals. She said: "Having Alan is a coup for us and there's no one to match his experience and knowledge, even in London. We now have an enviable network of contacts in the local government planning environment, both locally and nationally."
May added that the firm will seek to utilise Sayle's experience in sports-related planning issues to work on developments for professional football, cricket, rugby and sailing clubs across the country.