A prominent Cumbrian property firm has revealed its plans to expand into planning and development.

H&H Land & Estates, which has nine offices across the county, has created a new role of director of residential and commercial development.

Richard Shield takes on the appointment and will work closely with managing director Colin Tomlinson and the entire team, the firm said.

This appointment comes as part of a strategy for H&H Land & Estates to grow their development offering across the North East, North West and Cumbria.

Trained as a land agent and MRICS qualified, Mr Shield is a registered valuer and moved into commercial agency and development work in 2004, where this has been his focus for the last fifteen years.

His specialisms lie in sales and acquisitions, development appraisals and viability, land promotion and realising the potential of small, medium and large-scale developments. This ranges from small plots of land up to large-scale land and estates for a range of private and public sector clients.

He was formerly a partner at Cushman & Wakefield in Newcastle and has also worked for DTZ, Smiths Gore and Savills.

Mr Shield said: “This is a great opportunity. Working across all of the geographical areas in which we operate, I am looking forward to developing this specialist area for the company and to talking to clients to understand their needs and assessing sites as to the opportunities they offer.

“It is well documented that we have not been building enough homes in the UK for decades and so I have a particular interest assisting clients in bringing forward land to provide much needed housing, having previously worked on several sites capable of delivering between 1,000 and 2,000 units coupled with adjoining employment land allocations to provide accompanying economic investment and resulting job opportunities.”

Mr Tomlinson said: “We are thrilled that Richard has joined the company bringing with him his expertise and strong track record within the industry. This new role will certainly underpin the work being done by our teams in Durham, Cumbria and the North West.

“Given the current economic and political circumstances, it is more important than ever that landowners consider opportunities. Taking property and planning advice is the first step towards realising the best potential for their assets.”