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How Do McCartneys Planning and Survey Department Cope During a Crisis like This?

Tue 28 April 2020

Like all companies in our industry, we as a department have had to significantly alter our working practices due to the Covid-19 crisis. This has included furloughing a significant number of surveyors and admin staff to help ensure the future survival of the business.  

With only the bare bones remaining, we have however been able to keep projects moving forward, thankfully due to the systems which we already had in place. The department works from two central cores, however our surveyors have the ability to work from any location due to our computer systems, this meant a relatively easy adaption to working from home, with no stressful alterations to working practices (other than the not so quiet kids!!!) 

With our usual working arrangements purely relocated to home comfort, we have been able to carry on working on planning projects with relative ease. Our architectural design software together with digital files means that we are also able to easily discuss projects with each other whilst in different parts of the country. In addition, we have adapted how we liaise with clients, the majority of this used to be done by hardcopies, however almost all has moved to digital. With paper size varying from A4 to A0 by the project, with digital the ability to view on different devices is extremely beneficial. 

To give you an idea of our planning work, in the last couple of weeks 2 of us have submitted 14 planning applications, which have included the following

  • An agricultural workers dwelling.
  • Agricultural Buildings.
  • Barn conversions under both full planning and part Q regulations.
  • Sites for tourism, with proposals either for holiday lodges or cabins under the caravan act.
  • Householder applications for extensions and alterations.
  • A replacement garage and new storage building in the curtilage of a listed building.
  • Pre Application advice for development sites.
  • SABS Applications.

In addition, we have also submitted building regulations applications and sent a project for builders to tender on (which included a detailed photographic schedule to assist them) 

But we have also been continuing ongoing architectural design and planning projects which includes.

  • A site with 5 barns for conversion to residential, of which two are listed.
  • An expansion to a caravan park.
  • Reserved matters for a 10 house site, with 10 individual houses to be designed. 

Of course, a large part of our workload has temporarily been put on hold with no Building Surveys or Energy Performance Certificates undertaken, however we are still taking enquiries with a view of restarting these once the lockdown restrictions are eased. 

So, whilst the times may be difficult at the moment, as a department we are still progressing jobs, speaking to clients, the planning officers, building control and builders with a view of keeping everything moving forward.

But one of the best jobs we have at the moment is speaking to clients to let them know when we have successfully obtained planning approval for them. In the last couple of weeks this has included a wide variety of jobs, included; reserved matters for a 10 house development site, approval for a range of agricultural buildings, approval for a new agricultural bridge over a SSSI river on the English welsh borders, a successful planning appeal, householder extensions, change of use of a shop to a holiday let and discharge of planning conditions. 

Should you have a project in mind, we have expertise to assist you from the small extensions, agricultural buildings, barn conversions to multi house development sites. We can help you with all aspects from planning advice, architectural design to detailed drawings and specifications.  

Whilst we may not be able to come out and meet you face to face at the moment, we can still provide you with a good starting point over the phone. Then when the lockdowns are eased, we will then look forward to meeting with you to take your project forward.

If you have a project to discuss, please feel to contact myself on either 07875 222 835 or by email on

Geraint Jones BSc(Hons) MRICS
Planning and Survey Department
McCartneys LLP

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