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How to become a Planning Development Surveyor

planning development surveyor careers

What does a Planning Development Surveyor do?

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.

What's the working environment like working as a Planning Development Surveyor?

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.

What does it take to become a Planning Development Surveyor?

As a planning and development surveyor, you should:

  • have excellent communication, negotiating and presentations skills
  • have a thorough knowledge of local planning policies and procedures
  • be able to undertake research and evaluate data
  • have sound financial skills
  • have good organisational and time management skills
  • understand environmental and sustainable development issues
  • have good report writing skills
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be willing to undertake ongoing professional development
  • be able to deal with a wide variety of people.

Planning Development Surveyor Career Opportunities

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.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Planning Development Surveyor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Surveyor Court
Westwood Way
Tel: 0870 333 1600

Chartered Institute of Building
Kings Ride
Tel: 01344 630700

Association of Building Engineers
Lutyens House
Billing Brook Road
Weston Favell
Tel: 0845 126 1058

College of Estate Management
Tel: 0118 986 1101