McCarthy will work across Capita Symonds and Capita Groyp as executive director

The senior civil servant in charge of the controversial National Planning Policy Framework at the Department for Communities and Local Government, is to leave to join Capita Symonds.

Richard McCarthy, director general for neighbourhoods, will leave his current role in November.

McCarthy, who joined the communities department in October 2003, will work across both Capita Symonds and parent Capita Group as executive director.

He denied the timing of his move had anything to do with either the continued criticism of the draft planning policy framework from environmental groups and residents, or his relationship with departmental permanent secretary Sir Bob Kerslake.

He said: “[Sir] Bob [Kerslake] and I worked well together when at the HCA and that productive relationship has continued.”