Clerks of Works Archives - John Burke Associates

Green Light Given for Schools and Hospitals

automatic planning permission for schools

Automatic Planning Permission for Schools, Homes, Shops & Hospitals

Further to our last month’s blog “Boris says BUILD, BUILD, BUILD!” this month’s announcement brings more hope for Britain’s regeneration. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced further new laws which cut red tape immensely.  The new planning system supports the construction of new schools, shops, hospitals, and housing projects by granting automatic planning permission for schools, hospitals, shops, and homes in growth areas.

automatic planning permission for schools

The Areas Explained

The new regulations mean that land will be divided to fit three main categories as follows:


Automatic planning permission will be granted on all land designated as a growth area to develop new schools, shops, hospitals, offices, and housing. Therefore, empowering developers to proceed to construction without delay.


Land designated as renewal areas will get “permission in principle” for such projects mentioned above. Consequently, projects are fast tracked to balance speed whilst ensuring the appropriate measure are taken.


Mr Jenrick is yet to specify what limits will be given to developments in protected areas. He has listed the protected areas as “our green belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and rich heritage”. He says the plan is “protecting the places, views and landscapes we cherish most”.


While this is welcome news for developers, critics such as RIBA and the charity Shelter have raised concerns about quality. Will this new legislation reduce the quality of new buildings? Could this lead to poor quality housing in areas without sufficient public services? – As RICS chartered surveyors and building consultants we promote a forward-thinking approach to all projects.  Our Clerks of Works are the custodians of quality on site. We work in synergy with our clients to mitigate the risk of a defective product by undertaking the systematic inspections of in progress.

Planning for the Future

John Burke Associates offers a full range of professional and project surveying services to the education, healthcare, and commercial sectors. Our commitment is to provide our clients with a forward thinking, sustainable and environmentally friendly service. As RICS Chartered Surveyors and project managers we are confident in generating such value for money that our services are effectively cost neutral.

The Management of Site Inspection

Digital Construction Week

The construction industry continues to be perceived by both its clients and the general public as fragmented, disorganised and unprofessional. Litigation, arbitration, and continuing building failure reinforce this view. In this blog, our Technical Director of Site Inspection, Ian Carey CMgr MSc DMS FRICS FCIOB FICWCI FCABE, offers his insight into the management of site inspection.

The Quality-Cost-Time Conundrum

Project Management Division

The industry has become progressively management orientated. However, the dynamic management process tends to deal with holistic strategies. Contractors increasingly faced the dilemma posed by the quality-cost-time conundrum, a problem that is exacerbated by falling skill and resource levels.

Clients, for their part, demand value for money and cost optimisation on complex projects which they also expect to be “right first time”. Consequently, due to this dichotomy, the quality of work on site has continued to deteriorate resulting in numerous defects (many of a serious or repetitive nature) delays and additional costs.

Contributing Factors to Declining Standards

Industry trends and government legislation, such as fee bid tendering, lack of training, lowest tender philosophies, Best Value and the reduction of public and Governmental control, have all perpetuated the decline of quality standards in the completed building.  Therefore, the burden of remedial costs and user dissatisfaction has conversely increased.

The Role of a Clerks of Works

Traditionally the individual responsible for setting, maintain and policing the quality standards onsite is the Clerks of Works. Much of the foregoing can be mitigated by appointing a qualified   and experienced Clerks of Works to undertake systematic, regular and independent third-party inspection as work proceeds.

Ian currently heads up John Burke Associates Clerks of Works and Site Inspection services. He is a Fellow and twice Past President of the Institute of Clerks of Works & Construction Inspectorate of Great Britain.

Ian Carey

Our Aim

John Burke Associates’ aim is to create synergy between the Client, Contractor, and Team to realise a ‘Zero Defects’ project. Our comprehensive portfolio of services is delivered through two complementary divisions; Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Building Consultants. Each division is committed to delivering a combined tailored service, dedicated to our client’s requirement.