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Forde George News

Conservation and Repairs to Grade I Listed Ugbrooke Park

Posted on October 31, 2018 by Forde George

Ugbrooke Park, the Grade I Listed Robert Adam Home of the Clifford family has seen the completion of extensive repair following significant weather damage in early 2018. A number of the principal rooms required specialist plaster conservation repair, detailed decoration analysis and replication and new fabrics and wall hangings. David George (Accredited Conservation surveyor) has provided technical advice to the Estate for a number of years and acted as Contract Administrator. “thanks have to be given to the collective hard work of the principal contractor ‘Corbel’ and specialist conservator Janie Lightfoot as well of course from Alexander Clifford who ensured that Estate’s busy corporate and social calendar was not compromised”

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Axminster Heritage Centre – phase IIIA completed

Posted on June 9, 2017 by Forde George

The penultimate phase of the Axminster Heritage Centre – celebrating the town heritage and most importantly the world famous Carpets) has been successfully completed.

Acting as lead designer and contract administrator, the works included refurbishment of the GD II Listed original buildings and walled gardens and construction of sympathetic ancillary structures.  These now compliment the previous phases enlarging the current exhibition space and tourist information centre which are now open to the general public.

The final phase IIIB is currently in the design stage.

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New Facility for National Charity

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Forde George

Acting as Designer and Project Coordinator, Forde George Chartered building Surveyors are delighted to have successfully completed a project featured in an earlier ‘News’ at Nethercott Farm, for Farms For City Children.

The project provides commercial quality food technology accommodation to visiting children.  The listed building has been carefully renovated and repaired, including new clay tiled roofing, timber frame and stone work as well as the incorporation of the commercial quality interior.


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3D Modelling … It’s not just for Architects!

Posted on January 12, 2017 by Forde George

Whilst many believe that conceptual design, 3D modelling and visualisations can only be obtained from the employment of an Architect, this could not be further from the truth.

Here at Forde George we are increasingly being asked to lend our expertise, not just for the purposes of condition surveys, but also for the creation of concept designs. Using the latest in BIM programming, our in-house CAD team are often requested to create 3D visualisations and ‘walk-through’ videos of such concept designs, allowing our clients to gain a more realistic feel of how their property could look.

Below are a few visuals from a first draft concept proposal for one of our clients in Exeter, including a screen shot of the model in progress (Image 4).  More detailed designs and models can include elements such as: landscaping (topography) to show how the building sits in the surrounding land, imagery to indicate how a building would look in its street scene, and high level rendering to show how the materials and colour choices of a structure

For further information on our design services, please contact the office on 01392 495604, or email us on


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New Members of the Forde George Team!

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Forde George

  • We would like to offer the warmest of welcomes to our two new team members here at Forde George!

    Adam Williams – Graduate Surveyor

    Adam joined us from the University of Plymouth in August after studying Building Surveying and the Environment BSc(Hons), graduating in June 2016. From North Devon, Adam also brings a varied range of experience from his time as an Junior Architectural Technician in an Architectural Practice prior to University; he is knowledgeable with both CAD and BIM, as well as having a keen sense regarding sustainability matters.

    Emma Indge – Administration

    Emma is joining the team to take on the role of administration and general support for the surveyors. Emma brings with her a wealth of experience and will inevitably be a huge asset to the Forde George team.

    Welcome to both Adam and Emma!

                                                                         Welcome to both Adam and Emma!

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    Ugbrooke House Update

    Posted on September 19, 2016 by Forde George

    Following our long and fruitful relationship with the Clifford Estate, we are pleased to confirm that Forde George have been instructed to carry out a Full Building Survey of Ugbrooke House in order to produce a planned maintenance schedule, alongside some internal renovation work, for this fantastic Grade I Listed Country House in Chudleigh, Devon.


    Front Elevation of Ugbrooke House.

                                                                             Front Elevation of Ugbrooke House.


    A view from the Courtyard at Ugbrooke House,

                                                                       A view from the Courtyard at Ugbrooke House.

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    Alterations and Refurbishment at Nethercott House

    Posted on by Forde George

    Farms for City Children, a Devon based charity who offer urban children the opportunity to live and work on a real farm in the heart of the countryside for week long excursions, enlisted the help of Forde George with regards to their 19th Century, Grade II listed country house and associated outbuildings – Nethercott House. With the ever increasing interest and growth in the charity, the need to renovate the internal facilities to allow for the number of children was evident, therefore the client engaged Forde George to manage the overhaul of the plumbing and bathroom facilities within the Main House.

    Following on from this, Farms for City Children expressed their desire to create a Food Preparation and Production Room inside of a Grade II Listed Stable/Coach House adjacent to the Main House; the purpose of the room was to create a space where the children could produce their own cheese, juices, jams and such like to further indulge in the agricultural lifestyle of rural Devon. The Stable/Coach House itself has been, over the years, converted into a store area and small office internally, whilst the external structure of the building has began to show signs of its age. Forde George were instructed to manage the essential repairs to the building, whilst also creating the proposed plans and applying for Listed Building Consent to create the Production Room. The project is currently on-going, with the production room anticipated to be in full use by the Summer of 2017.


    David, and Catherine of Farms for City Children, discussing the proposals for the Stable/Coach House

                                    David, along with Dean and Catherine of Farms for City Children, discussing the proposals for the Stable/Coach House renovation.

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    Barn conversions made easy?

    Posted on April 7, 2016 by Forde George

    How are the 2015 revisions to the Permitted Development Rights, Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order performing?   Are they a simple, fast track route to a source of income for those unloved and unwanted agricultural buildings?

    We have considered the imposed restrictions on exercising rights under the Order, in relation to the likely building works required for conversion. From the experience of Forde George it is very probable that successful conversion will rely upon extensive structural improvement to even the most structural stable building, with new elements such as floors, inner loadbearing walls and new primary roof structures being required, this apparently compromising the exercising of PD rights detailed below.

    Forde George, in preparing Building Condition surveys for PD applications, can contribute to the Application process, hopefully convincing the Planning Authority of the Buildings suitability for conversion.  Forde George also offer the full design and management service for barn and other building conversion schemes.

    In brief, subject to a number of conditions and restrictions, agricultural buildings and land within their curtilage may be converted to a use falling within Class C3 of the Schedule to the Use Classes Order 1987 (dwelling houses). These conditions and restrictions are set out in Class Q of Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. There is a maximum floor space that may be converted of 450 m2 of floor space of a building or buildings within a single established agricultural unit. The total number of new homes which may be developed is 3 dwellings or 450m2 threshold, is reached. The total number of new homes (3 dwelling houses) excluding existing residential properties within the established agricultural unit, unless created by the use of the permitted development right

    So are there any limitations on the extent of building works which can be carried out? Although the permitted development right under Class Q assumes that the agricultural building is capable of functioning as a dwelling, it recognises that for the building to function as a dwelling some building operations which would affect the external appearance of the building, which would otherwise require planning permission, should be permitted e.g. the installation or replacement of windows, doors, roofs, exterior walls, partial demolition etc. However it is not the intention of the permitted development right to include the construction of new structural elements for the building. Therefore it is only where the existing building is structurally strong enough to take the loading which comes with the external works to provide for residential use that the building would be considered to have the permitted development right. Arguably therefore an admission that additional structural support or localised rebuilding is required could, on paper, compromise the approval.

    The local planning authority can consider whether the location and siting of the building (and the facilities in the area) would make it impractical or undesirable to change use to a house. However if the building is in a location where the local planning authority would not normally grant planning permission for a new dwelling this is not a sufficient reason for refusing prior approval.

    There are some limitations to the change to residential use. Where there has been a benefit from Agriculture rights under the existing agricultural permitted development, carried out since 20 March 2013, or within 10 years (before the proposed change to residential use), class Q rights cannot be exercised. The site must have been used solely for an agricultural use for the stated minimum period.

    Having satisfied all of these restrictive conditions the Applicant will still need to discuss with the planning authority the possible need for other consents relating issues including transport, highways, noise impacts, flooding and contamination risks on the site and aspects of design or external appearance of the building.

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