Planning and development surveyors are concerned with devising and managing development strategies for projects, for example: the regeneration of run-down derelict estates; the redevelopment of brownfield (former industrial) sites for commercial or leisure use; and house building or property conservation in rural and urban areas. They are involved at each stage of a project from initial site assessments through to completion.
Initially, surveyors carry out feasibility studies, gathering data from a variety of sources, including land and property records, to judge the viability of planned proposals. Studies include property market appraisals and impact assessments. The information is collated and analysed to evaluate the effect development will have on the economic, social and environmental make up of an area. Several proposed options may need investigation before making recommendations to clients.
Surveyors also advise their clients about monetary and legal matters. This includes the acquisition of land and property, including compulsory purchases; overseeing planning applications and ensuring compliance with statutory regulations; negotiating contracts and tenders; and raising finance from financial institutions, investment companies and development funding initiatives.
Surveyors work closely with town planners, architects and construction engineers and continue to be involved in the management of the development project once underway. On completion, surveyors may operate in a marketing role to promote the site to interested parties.
Surveyors work 35 to 40 hours a week. Early starts, late finishes and weekend work may be required, depending on deadlines. The job combines office and site work, and it is sometimes necessary to spend periods of time away from home. A driving licence will usually be necessary.
Sites are subject to all weather conditions and protective clothing is worn as required.
As a planning and development surveyor, you should:
Planning and development surveyors work for local authorities, government departments, construction firms, property developers, commercial companies with property assets, building conservation bodies and specialist surveying practices.
Career progression includes movement into project or senior management positions, partnership in private practice or self-employment as a consultant. You may be able to move into other areas of surveying or related careers, such as town planning. See profile for Town Planner.
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