A town planning expert who has provided essential direction on building projects in the north east of England, has launched her own consultancy – klr Planning Ltd.
Karen Read, a former regional director with Signet Planning and partner at DPP, set up her consultancy in January and among other projects, has secured permission for an Aldi store in Thornaby on behalf of GMI Developments and is the lead consultant on the impressive heritage-led redevelopment of the bus station site in Hexham town centre.
She has led on a wide range of prestigious projects including the regeneration of Gateshead town centre a £150 million project, and the £15 million refurbishment of Monument Mall to provide an additional 14,000 square foot of retail floor space in the heart of Newcastle city.
Karen, a member of The Royal Town Planning Institute, said: “At the start of the year there were positive signs that activity in the commercial property market was picking up and many developers were looking to fast-forward projects that had been on hold over the last couple of years. This shift in the market convinced me to take the plunge and establish my own planning consultancy.”
As well as having significant retail planning experience, working with national retailers, Karen’s other clients include Dysart Developments, who have been redeveloping the former Consett Steelworks 700-acre site as part of their joint venture with Durham County Council - Project Genesis.
Karen played an integral part in securing planning permission for the site’s new Tesco and Starbucks drive-thru, Tiger Bill’s restaurant, 1,000 new homes and business units.
Mike Clark, Development Director, Dysart, said: “Karen is a very experienced planning consultant whose insight into planning legislation and policy has always proved essential and whose guidance as a lead consultant has been effective in achieving planning consent for a number of our sites. She has always proven to be a very valuable member of any consultancy team.”
Karen’s work with her clients is often complex and sees her combining a deep understanding of local and national policy, and practice to secure her client’s development aspirations.
Karen Read is a Chartered Town Planner and a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. She started her career with Roger Tym and Partners in Manchester and then went on to work with the Development Planning Partnership (DPP). She moved to the North East in 2002 to work at law firm Robert Muckle LLP and later, in 2011, joined Signet Planning as Regional Director in Newcastle.
Karen lives in North Shields with her partner.