Lead Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Planning Inspectorate Board

Sara Weller CBE

Sara Weller CBE




Sara is the Chair of the Planning Inspectorate Board (PINS) and a Non-Executive Director of Lloyds Banking Group Plc and of United Utilities. She is also a visiting fellow at the Said Business School at Oxford University and a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Enterprise and Skills Advisory Committee. From January 2015, Sara is a Member of the Council at the University of Cambridge.


Sara spent her early career at the food company Mars, where she rose to be Consumer Development Director for Europe. She was subsequently appointed to the following roles: Consumer Marketing Director at Abbey National, Deputy Managing Director and a board member at Sainsbury’s. From 2002 to 2009, she was a Non-Executive Director at Mitchells and Butlers. Sara was the Managing Director at Argos from 2004 to June 2011, leading the expansion of Argos’ online business, opening 30 stores per year and launching a pilot of the Argos model in India.


Sara Weller joined DCLG’s board in January 2011 as Lead Non-Executive Director. Sara is also a member of DCLG’s Nominations and Governance Committee.

Lead Non-Executive Director

The DCLG Board’s role is to advise and support ministers on the operational implications and effectiveness of policy proposals and help turn policy from ideas into actions and results.

Part of DCLG’s leadership team, non-executive board members help with that task.

The Lead Non-Executive Director is a new role created by the Coalition government. It involves:

  • meeting regularly with other non-execs
  • ensuring the Secretary of State is aware of any concerns
  • supporting the Secretary of State in his or her role as chair of the board
  • ensuring that the non-execs meet alone with the Secretary of State from time to time
  • liaising with the government-wide Lead Non-Executive Director

Chair of the Planning Inspectorate Board