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Richard Connolly Achieves MRICS Status

Richard Connolly RICS, with Mark Treadwell, Commercial Property, Sheldon Bosley Knight

Richard Connolly RICS, with Mark Treadwell, Commercial Property, Sheldon Bosley KnightSheldon Bosley Knight is pleased to announce that Richard Connolly from our Commercial department is now a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  Richard recently took the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence and passed with flying colours.  In addition to his fifteen years’ experience Richard now has a worldwide industry leading qualification with which to help our clients.

In recognition of Richard’s hard work he is pictured here receiving a bottle of champagne on behalf of Sheldon Bosley Knight from Mark Treadwell, the Associate Director of the Commercial department.

The Sheldon Bosley Knight Commercial department offer a comprehensive range of commercial property services including property management, valuations and surveys, sales and lettings, rent reviews and lease renewals, business rates, architectural and planning services and advice and assistance with investment, development and acquisition.

For further information and assistance please contact the team.

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A peek inside the UK Horticultural Industry

commercial plant growers

commercial crop growers - horticultural surveyor - Sheldon Bosley KnightAs you are hopefully now aware, Timothy Lea & Griffiths Estate Agents Ltd., have merged with Sheldon Bosley Knight. During the negotiations, I was asked “What do you do?”. I gave the usual blurb about being a RICS accredited valuer, specialising in commercial and residential property, and then threw away the comment, “And I also act as a Horticultural Surveyor!” Blank looks across the table, and then I was asked to explain what I do.

Well, where do you start? You could say the industry covers 174,120 hectares of land, produces in excess of £3.101 billion a year, of which £1.277 billion was generated by vegetable production, but that wouldn’t really get me anywhere. So as ever in my life, let’s start with the basics, a definition.

Horticulture: – The art of garden cultivation. It covers field scale vegetable production, protected cropping, whether it be glasshouses, or tunnels for crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. It also covers ornamental cropping, such as annual bedding, hardy ornamental plant production, trees and forestry. It also incorporates top and soft fruit production, garden centres and plant centres, formal parks, sports grounds, including golf courses. In fact, Horticulture covers virtually every facet of life where plants exist.

commercial greenhouse - horticultural surveyor - Sheldon Bosley KnightWhatever it is, it all has one thing in common, it happens on land, in buildings, or glasshouses. It is a very diverse industry, that can look extremely complicated if one looks in from the outside with limited knowledge. It is also a very dynamic industry which is changing rapidly to stay in business where energy costs are rocketing in price, and labour is becoming increasingly scarce. They also have very demanding clients, such as supermarkets, where “just in time” is considered a way of life.

Modern greenhouses are virtually cathedrals specialising in the worship of plants.  Golf courses are well known for their greens, using varieties of grass specifically bred by the Grassland Institute at Hurley. Garden Centres are also becoming increasingly sophisticated emporiums of retail outlets, almost replicating the old department stores. Once you look inside this industry, you will be staggered at the diversity you will find. But a word of warning, it is a marmite industry, you will either love it or hate it.

commercial plant growersAs a surveyor, over the years, I have dealt with virtually every type of production there is to deal with, except for a cave! You will then ask, what is a cave used for?  The answer is easy; mushroom production. I have however dealt with mushroom farms, using tunnels, but then these are artificial caves, high humidity environments with little light.

The skills of a commercial surveyor are all utilised within the industry; valuation for secured lending purposes, landlord and tenant matters for garden centres and glasshouse nurseries. I also prepare schedules of condition and can give condition reports on what a nursery looks like, and how this affects its ability to produce plants and look after people while they visit or work within the property. I tend to go all over the country, as the industry is based nationwide, and every site I visit is different. There is always more than one way to skin a cat, to quote an old saying.

commercial growers - horticultural surveyor - Sheldon Bosley KnightThere are also loads of development opportunities available within Horticulture. Redundant farm buildings, opportunities for permitted development rights, or even a complete change of use to convert the nursery to a residential housing development. That can lead to substantial capital gains being made. Luckily, we have a large planning department within the firm that are good at optimising these possibilities.

I suspect you will hear a lot more about Horticulture over the coming months as Brexit unfolds. Only one politician has mentioned the words “food security”, but given that the UK import between 60% and 70% of all food we eat, I think the politicians will suddenly wake up to the fact that they have to keep the UK borders open, and working efficiently to ensure the nation is fed. Suddenly “just in time” takes on a completely different significance.

If you are running a land-based business, and require the services of a surveyor, please feel free to call our office, and discuss your requirements, whether it be agency, valuation, Landlord and Tenant matters, or management. I will do my best to help. As a company we exhibit at the Four Oaks trade show, and we regularly advertise in the trade press. Our telephone number is 01386 765700, and my email address is

Tony Rowland SBK TLG


Tony Rowland BSc(Hons) MSc MRICS

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Farmers’ Annual Stocktake – Are You Valuing Correctly?

Red tractor tilling the soil. Annual Farmers Stocktake

Red tractor tilling the soil. Annual Farmers StocktakeAn alarmingly low number of farmers obtain formal annual stocktaking valuations for their end of year accounting.  These are governed by the RICS Red Book Regulations as farmstock is an asset and farm stocktaking valuations should comply with the Red Book.

Farm stocktaking valuations are required to assess the closing stock value, and thereby profits or losses and balance sheet of a farming business for  inclusion in financial statements.

RICS Valuers will prepare annual stocktaking reports which are compliant to ensure the highest standards of professionalism and clarity on which the accountants can rely.

Ted Beale - RICS registered farm valuerBy undertaking “self-assessed” valuations the farmer is less likely to be au fait with the changing regulations and indeed the specific definitions of Value and which approaches to adopt when undertaking their end of year stocktaking valuation.

We work closely with our clients’ accountants to ensure the information provided is within the appropriate definition of value and will enable a thorough and professional approach to your financial statements.

In addition to annual stocktaking valuations, our RICS Registered Valuers also value property and land for tax, secured lending and insurance purposes.

Please contact Ted Beale on 01789 292310 if you would like to discuss this further.

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Amy Reed Achieves RICS Status


Amy_Reed_Marcus_Faulkner_Laura_Gaydon_Sheldon_Bosley_KnightLaura Gaydon, a Director at Sheldon Bosley Knight, is delighted to announce and congratulate Amy Reed on obtaining her qualification in May 2017 as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and achieving RICS Registered Valuer status.

Amy, who is based at the Shipston on Stour office, commented, “I am absolutely thrilled that after two years of professional studying with Sheldon Bosley Knight the completion of the Assessment of Professional Competence has enabled me to gain the highly regarded RICS qualification.  As a fully qualified Rural Chartered Surveyor, it will mean that clients can be assured of my abilities in advising on all agricultural and rural land management matters and undertaking formal valuations. It is such a sense of achievement”.

Amy comes from an agricultural background having grown up on the family farm in Warwickshire. Outside of work she has an interest in the countryside, as well as being a keen sportswoman.

Working as part of the agricultural team at SBK in Shipston, Amy can be contacted on 01608 661666 or by email

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Advantages of Contract Administration (The Hidden Extras)

Contract Administration

Contract administration has always been an important part of any construction project but has been neglected over the years, and the recent economic decline has brought contract administration under project management to the forefront once again. In the past, small extensions may have been undertaken by local builders for the private client, for a word of mouth sum, of which as the project proceeded hidden extras appeared and the contract cost would inevitably end up 30 or 40% more than the original quotation. Now that we are in the current economic downturn, the general man on the street is more cautious when proceeding with building works and investing his hard earned money. Controlled contract administration on site, as detailed below, will help stop these hidden extras from occurring.

Following the selection of a competent Builder with a winning tender, the project will proceed and will be based on a contract specific to the construction industry, the more common of which is a JCT Contract.

The JCT Contract


The JCT Contract is a formal document that sets out the works that have been quoted for. This includes all of the specific detailing, the pricing, how the contract will be paid for at specific points, and that requests for payments from contractors will be valued by a professional, checked against the original tender and verified as acceptable before any payment is authorised. This in effect will stop the contractor taking money up front.

On each interim payment there will be an Interim Payment Certificate given, verifying that the payment can be made and stating a retention of that payment, that will be paid partly at the end of the project and partly six months following the end of the project to ensure there are not any defects that require to be put right. If these defects are not put right within that period, the remaining payment will be retained by the client.

Hidden Extras…………..

We all know about the inevitable list that appears at the end of the contract, that the contractor may surprise you with, which lists all the additional extras that were not quoted for, but have been done and the contractor now wants paying for. Sometimes these extras can add up to large sums of money which have not been budgeted for, that the client has not been made aware of and was unaware that they were going to be invoiced additionally for. If the work is being undertaken under a JCT contract this can be avoided as any additional works that are requested by the client or that are required by the contractor due to unforeseen circumstances must be firstly quoted for by the contractor, verified by the contract administrator, and signed off by the contract administrator and the client, as an acceptable quotation to undertake that additional works. If that additional works is not signed off, then it will not be paid for, and this will be at the expense of the contractor.

At the end of the project, the retention that has been taken from each payment will be partly paid back to the contractor for completing the project. We then enter into a six month period – the rectification period where if any of the contractor’s works is defective and requires to be finished, the contractor will be notified and requested to come and put the defect in good order. On the satisfaction of these works the remaining percentage of the retained money will be given to the contractor. If the contractor neglects the additional works, and does not rectify any defects in that period then the retained money will not be paid to him, and will be used to pay another contractor to put these in good order.Contract

When setting out on any construction project it is always advisable on any size of scheme to have a contract in place to protect you and the contractor in terms of payment and additional costs.

Don’t be caught out with the hidden extras.


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Help to Buy causing bubble

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
(RICS) has warned;

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned that a damaging property bubble is being made more likely by the Government’s Help to Buy (H2B) scheme. A report from RICS states that 57% more members were registering higher sales prices than were seeing a fall, the biggest “net balance” since 2002. RICS added that in the three months to October, chartered surveyors acted in the sale of an average of 20 homes, the highest number since 2008. While transaction levels rose in almost every region – not only in London and the South East. Economists at the trade body said inflationary pressure was being driven by a lack of property coming on to the market just as government and Bank of England initiatives were making it easier to buy. RICS said the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme had cut mortgage rates, while the latest phase of H2B meant that more people could find a place on the ladder. Labour and some Liberal Democrats have expressed fears that H2B will inflate another bubble. Chris Leslie, the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has called on the Bank of England to launch an immediate review of the scheme rather than waiting until next year, and said the £600,000 limit for properties being bought should be cut. Elsewhere, the Independent’s Steve Richards compares H2B to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. He says the scheme will contribute to the private property boom without addressing the basic problem, which is a lack of supply.


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Matthew Payne – Gains full qualifications

Matt Payne has now become a full member of the RICS

The Partners at Sheldon Bosley are delighted to announce that after a lengthy and extremely rigorous training and examination programme, Matthew Payne has been recently accepted as a full member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, specialising in Residential Surveys and Valuations.

Simon Wilkinson, the Partner in charge of the Survey and Valuation Department has welcomed Matthew enthusiastically, saying that “Matthew is a very valuable asset to the team, applying his natural eye for detail and methodical approach to provide a first class service.”

New RICS Member
New RICS Member

Buying a New Home……..

The purchase of a new home is likely to be the most expensive investment you will ever make, and yet many people give less consideration to condition than they would for a used car. Indicative figures published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggest that only 1 in 5 of us will have any form of independent home survey carried out prior to purchasing property, and yet the average cost of remedying unexpected defects approaches on average £6,000. When buying a home, clearly money is always tight, however a home survey conducted by an RICS member offers peace of mind, and the relevant information with which to negotiate the fairest deal.

Let us help

So if you are considering purchasing property, or want to ensure that yours is in the best possible condition prior to sale, Simon and Matthew are ideally placed to advise you. For more details please contact 01789 292310 /