Les Sparks OBE is an architect and town planner who has specialised in urban design and conservation. He worked in Ironbridge as Severn Gorge Projects Manager before becoming Director of Environmental Services in Bath (1980 – 91) and Director of Planning & Architecture at Birmingham City Council (1991-99). He has also worked for a housing developer and as a Planning Inspector. He was a founding Commissioner of CABE (1999 – 2006) and a Commissioner of English Heritage (2001-08). He was awarded an OBE in 1997 for urban regeneration work in Birmingham. He was a member of the EH Urban Panel from 2000 and its Chair from 2003 –10 while it was jointly managed with CABE.
He was chair of the CABE Design Review Panel (and its Crossrail and Thames Tideway Tunnel panels) and the Nottingham and Plymouth panels. He chaired Bath’s Urban Regeneration Panel for 10 years and now Chairs the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site Steering Group, the West Midlands Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the MADE Design Review Panel.