Planning consultancy chief dies at 55

International environmental consultancy SLR has announced the death of its 55-year-old chief executive David Richards.

Richards: established firm in 1994
Richards: established firm in 1994

The consultancy, which is ranked 30th in Planning’s latest survey of leading employers of chartered town planners, said Richards had died at home unexpectedly earlier this month.

Holding company SLR Management said Neil Penhall – former managing director of SLR Consulting and an executive director of SLR Management – would assume Richards’ role.

Penhall said he was deeply saddened by Richards’ "sudden and unexpected death" as the pair had worked closely together for almost two decades.

"On behalf of all at SLR, our thoughts and condolences are with David's family at this difficult time," he said.

"Under David’s leadership, SLR has grown from a specialist UK focused business, with particular strength in the waste management sector, to a truly international environmental consultancy with strong market positions across multiple sectors and geographies."

Richards established the firm with Alan Sheppard as SECOR Ltd in 1994.

The company's name was changed to SLR following a management buyout in 2000.

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