Robert (Bob) Clayton, 1941-2021, Founding Partner, Passes away

We are sad to advise that one of our founding Partners, Bob Clayton passed away at his home on Saturday morning, 6th March, after a short illness.

Bob started his career as a Chartered Surveyor in the 1960’s with Local Authorities in Leeds and latterly Preston. It was here that he first met Clive Eckersley when they worked together in private practice in 1970. Their careers followed different paths for the next decade, but they came together in the early 1980’s as partners in a prominent estate agency located on Fishergate, Clayton Booth and Partners. This practice was eventually acquired by the major Insurance company, General Accident and integrated into their national chain.

In 1990, Bob and Clive resigned their directorships with General Accident and formed Eckersley as a new commercial property consultancy.

Bob was responsible for the professional work within the practice and secured accreditation on all the major high street Bank Valuation Panels, a recognition of his ability and integrity, and a legacy which endures today.

He was a popular and well respected member of the business community in Preston prior to his retirement in 2000, and continued to be a member of Preston Golf Club and Preston Grasshoppers.

A loving family man, Bob is survived by his Wife Valerie and Son and Daughter, Paul and Dawn, and his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.

MASTERPLAN FOR MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN BARTLE

ROBERTSON STRATEGIC ASSET MANANGMENT SUBMIT MASTERPLAN FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT & IMPROVED INFRASTRUCTRE IN BARTLE

Robertson Strategic Asset Management (RSAM) has submitted a hybrid planning application to Preston City Council for a new residential development at Bartle, Preston.

The application, if approved, will see improved infrastructure and a new roundabout on the £230M Preston Western Distributor Road and outline planning for a residential development with circa 1,100 dwellings on a 46-hectare agricultural site which is bounded to the north by the M55.

Acting as site promotor to set the planning masterplan and ultimately site disposal, RSAM is working with the landowner, Tom Barron Pension Fund and their property advisers Eckersley in the delivery of the project.

Andy Taylorson at Eckersley confirms: “The proposed development of the new Bartle Village will see the introduction of a new sustainable community on the outskirts of Preston.  Robertson’s application, if approved, would support Preston and its City Deal initiative whilst also delivering a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of the area”.

“Central Lancashire has amongst the best rates of new job creation and will continue to attract investment and residents.  The new Bartle Village will deliver a much-needed boost to the availability of quality residential options whilst creating a new village which will add economic, social and environmental benefits to Preston as the city continues to grow.”

Bartle Village is set to provide a high-quality environment for residents and visitors and includes areas of open space and retain natural habitats for local wildlife.  With excellent connectivity provided via the proposed new road layout, it is anticipated that Bartle Village could be a catalyst to encourage further development and investment in the wider area of North West Preston.

Mark Longley, director, RSAM, commented: “It makes perfect sense to utilise the new Preston West Distributor Road and to enhance the highway network by coordinating appropriate land development to it”.

Bartle Village will transform the area into a thriving community with significant economic benefits for the wider region.  The development would be phased and will take place over a number of years, should planning permission be granted.  It will significantly improve the connectivity of Cottam, Ingol and Fulwood to the motorway network via the new motorway junction on the M55 and the Fylde Peninsula.

Commenting on the wider implication, Andy added “As Preston and Central Lancashire continue to grow and prosper it will be essential to meet the housing needs of the workforce particularly as the Enterprise Zones at Warton and Samlesbury continue to develop. By creating this new village.  Our clients and Robertsons are helping to facilitate that growth as it continues to attract new investment to the region”

As part of the proposal significant environmental improvements will be made to the landscape as well as introducing biodiversity enhancements and improving the overall visual appearance of the site.

Join our team – Valuation Surveyor role

We have an exciting opportunity within our Valuation department for an experienced valuation surveyor with the following attributes:

  • RICS qualified with minimum of three years experience as a Registered Valuer dealing with commercial property and development appraisals. (preferably being familiar with Argus developer software or similar)
  • Commercial property valuation background within the private sector.
  • Ability to demonstrate good time management skills and work independently.
  • Excellent report writing skills essential (good grammar and the ability to report concisely and logically is essential) with attention to detail.
  • Thorough understanding of RICS Red Book.
  • Ideally working knowledge of Landlord and Tenant matters and sound understanding of all relevant and recent legislation/regulations affecting commercial valuations.
  • Familiarity with commercial building construction methodology and defect identification.
  • Able to work within a dedicated team of fellow professionals and offer leadership and encouragement to support staff.
  • A UK driving licence.

The role would encompass:

  • Undertaking commercial loan security valuations for all of the major high street lending institutions, primarily dealing with core commercial property to include offices, industrial, retail, and occasional miscellaneous commercial and residential investments.
  • Managing a full workload of commercial valuation instructions and adhering to each lender’s service level agreement.
  • Providing commercial valuation advice to private and corporate clients including matters relating to probate, taxation and matrimonial settlements.
  • There will be full autonomy to develop new business and specialise in certain areas where training will be supported.
  • Participation in business development opportunities and networking events.

The opportunity will include flexible working arrangements including home working whilst also benefitting from the support and shared resources of an experienced team and the stability of working within a small agile practice.

We are able to offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience, including car allowance and performance related bonus structure.

If the opportunity is of interest or you have any questions please contact in complete confidence, Mary Hickman on 01772 272744 (direct dial) or mh@eckersleyproperty.co.uk.

Coronavirus Update

In accordance with government guidelines, and with the health and well being of our colleagues and Clients in mind, Eckersley have temporarily closed both the Preston and Lancaster offices.

Eckersley are, however, still very much open for business with the full team working remotely, which is possible given the technology the Practice has in place, and we aim to continue providing our high levels of service to Clients during this challenging period.

Ongoing projects, property disposals, property management, valuation and professional work continues and all the team can be contacted on the usual telephone numbers or by email.

We will continue to monitor the situation and send our best wishes to all Clients and colleagues, hoping you stay safe during these unprecedented times.

Eckersley

VACANCY – Bookkeeper/Financial Administrator

We are seeking an enthusiastic and proactive bookkeeper/financial administrator to join the property management department within a busy surveying practice.

The role is to maintain our property management portfolio with main duties including raising rent, service charge and insurance demands; recording and paying of invoices; attending to tenant recharges; debt recovery where needed; reconciliation of Client bank accounts on a monthly basis; production of Landlord statements; preparation of VAT reports for Clients and collation of accounting records for submissions to external accountants.

Requirements for the role include the ability to use your own initiative and deal with a varied workload. The ability to communicate effectively with Landlords, Tenants and external consultants is essential and experience of the Focus property management system or similar packages will be very beneficial.

Company Benefits include 25 days holiday plus bank holidays and a 37 hour working week. Salary dependent on experience.

If you feel you have the experience and skills for this role please apply with your CV addressed to Mary Hickman – click link for email.

SOLD – Athena Healthcare Group Acquire Development Site In Much Hoole

Acting for private clients Eckersley’s agency team have completed another sale on behalf of private clients of a redundant farm complex in the centre of Much Hoole village, near Preston. The proposed care home is for a 53-bed dual status care facility that would provide residential and nursing care, including specialist dementia care. The site received detailed planning permission on 19th October 2017and once built the care facility is anticipated to employ 30 full-time members of staff and 20 part-time members of staff on a rota system. The development would have a 24 hour staff presence.

Athena Healthcare Group is one of the most respected and trusted providers of high quality residential and nursing care homes in the North West. The Group was recently crowned winners of four awards at the North West region’s 2017 Great British Care Awards.

The sale was handled by Fiona Warren Eckersley’s Agency coordinator and Andy Taylorson who specialises on development opportunities. Andy’s review of the transaction confirmed that “ throughout the process Athena were excellent to deal with. They were very professional in their approach to the project in all aspects of the transaction, from their site due diligence investigations, the legal and planning processes and in the problem solving on minor technical issues.”

“South Ribble Borough Council processed the planning application very quickly too, due to the comprehensive way the application had been compiled by Athena and aided by the way it was then handled by the planning case officer and received by the Planning Committee. All in all a very satisfactory result for all parties involved and positive news for the local economy of the village.”

Paul Margey at Marsden Rawthorn solicitors handled the legal formalities for the seller.

VACANCY – Bookkeeper/Financial Administrator

We are seeking an enthusiastic and proactive bookkeeper/financial administrator to join the property management department within a busy surveying practice.

The role is to maintain our property management portfolio with main duties including raising rent, service charge and insurance demands; recording and paying of invoices; attending to tenant recharges; debt recovery where needed; reconciliation of Client bank accounts on a monthly basis; production of Landlord statements; preparation of VAT reports for Clients and collation of accounting records for submissions to external accountants.

Requirements for the role include the ability to use your own initiative and deal with a varied workload. The ability to communicate effectively with Landlords, Tenants and external consultants is essential and experience of the Focus property management system or similar packages will be very beneficial.

Company Benefits include 25 days holiday plus bank holidays and a 37 hour working week. Salary dependent on experience.

If you feel you have the experience and skills for this role please apply with your CV addressed to Mary Hickman mh@eckersleyproperty.co.uk

 

Eckersley toasts completion of £1.2m Winckley Square Gardens project

winckley-square-gardens-reopened

 

A five-year project co-created by Eckersley to transform a historic Preston Georgian square has completed.

The city’s historic Winckley Square Gardens have been officially reopened to the public following a £1.2m restoration backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Gardens have been closed for 16 weeks for a ‘sympathetic yet transformational’ restoration to breathe new life into the area. They were officially reopened by the Mayor of Preston, Coun John Collins.

The project has been led by the Winckley Square Community Interest Company (WSCIC) which was created in 2011 by Croft Goode, Eckersley, Freshfield, Harrison Drury, Moore and Smalley and Napthens to look at ways in which the Gardens could be improved.

The scheme involved a partnership between environmental charity, Groundwork, in partnership with Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council, Preston BID and Preston Historical Society.

David Gill from Moore and Smalley, chairman of the WSCIC said: “This is the start of an exciting future for Winckley Square Gardens, it’s a landmark day for Preston. We are overjoyed with the transformation.

“We started with a blank sheet of paper, no money and a feeling by many we wouldn’t get far. But it shows the power of partnerships between the community, private and public sector. Our gratitude goes to all those partners and people who have come together to make this possible.

“We now hope the community will take ownership of the gardens and enjoy them for years to come.”

Thanks to National Lottery players, the scheme was given the go ahead last year after the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund announced that a bid for almost £950,000 was approved.

The project has also received £150,000 from Preston’s Business Improvement District and smaller grants.

The work has been completed by Barton Grange Landscapes who were awarded the contract earlier this year and have been on site since August.

The work carried out during the project includes:

  • The repairing and repainting of the railings and gated entrances
  • The installation of a new drainage system
  • The widening and resurfacing of footpaths
  • The restoration, clean and repair of the Sir Robert Peel statue
  • The removal of dead or dying trees
  • The removal of problematic shrub beds
  • The installation of new low level architectural LED footpath lights and CCTV
  • The installation of interpretative artwork providing discovery points of interest relating to the places and people who played a part in the history of the Square and the wider city
  • The installation of new benches and bins
  • The creation of a re-inforced grass event space constructed in the southern third of the gardens to allow future events and activities

All works have been constructed using a carefully selected palette of hard wearing yet attractive materials that correspond sensitively to the surrounding conservation setting.

The design process included a dedicated conservation management plan developed by a team of notable Preston historians from groups such as the Preston and South Ribble Civic Trust, Preston Historical Society, Lancashire Gardens Trust and Blog Preston.

Groundwork Executive Director, Andrew Darron, said: “It has been inspiring to work alongside local business people, passionate volunteers and historians and the Local Authority – all committed to making a difference.  I’m incredibly proud of the work done by our team at Groundwork.

winckley-square-gardens-at-night

Mark Clarkson, director of Eckersley and director of WSCIC, added: “Eckersley along with our other partners are delighted and proud that all the hard work over the last 5 years has paid off. It is important, however, to note that further works are planned in the short, medium and long term which we hope will further improve the use and enjoyment of the gardens.

When spring arrives we expect the transformation of the gardens will take another significant step forward.

WINCKLEY SQUARE RESTORATION – THE NUMBERS

  • Over 400 linear metres of new land drains installed to deal with historic waterlogging issues
  • 153 low level LED footpath lights installed
  • 630 metres of resurfaced and widened footpaths
  • 30 new trees to maintain character for generations to come
  • 1,600 tonnes of imported stone beneath improved footpaths, and reinforced grass event space
  • 1,400 tonnes of Rootzone drainage topsoil over lower valley area
  • Nearly 520 linear metres of railings repaired and repainted
  • 200 tonnes Topsoil imported to improve grass areas and new planting beds
  • And one new Westmorland limestone nose

Business Rates Re-Valuation – 2017

The new Business Rates Valuation List comes into effect in April 2017 and the “draft Rating List” has now been published with effect from 30th September 2016.  Typically there have been changes to the system and, rather than simplify matters for ratepayers, the system has now become even more complicated!

The Government has introduced a new system for business rates appeals which will be introduced from 1st April 2017 and this is known as the “Check Challenge Appeal system”.

The basis of the Check Challenge Appeal process is as follows

Check – Rate payers will need to ensure the facts on their new Rateable Value are correct. We are waiting for clarification on the precise details but this is likely to include information about the property’s tenure (freehold/leasehold), floor areas and accommodation.

Challenge – This stage can only be instigated by the rate-payer within 4 months of the conclusion of the check stage, with a further 18 months allowed to conclude the Challenge. It could therefore be up to 3 years from starting the process until the ratepayer is allowed to make a formal Appeal.

Appeal – Those granted an Appeal then have up to 4 months to do so and must pay an administration fee of up to £300.  This fee is refundable only if successful.

Our professional body, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Rating Surveyors Association have responded to the Government’s Check Challenge Appeal consultation and, subject to Parliamentary approval, the reformed system will come into force from 1st April 2017.

Now that the draft 2017 Rating List has been published, it provides an opportunity to review Clients’ revised assessments and to establish whether there appear to be grounds for a Challenge to be made.

Eckersley would be pleased to act for Clients and to assist with the Check and Challenge stage of the process.  If an Appeal is ultimately warranted then we would also be able to lodge that Appeal on the Client’s behalf.

In anticipation of April 2017 it would be prudent to identify now any clear errors made in the valuation assessment ready for issuing a Challenge at the earliest opportunity.

Clients will be aware that, once the Rateable Value has been firmly established, then this would be the basis of charges for the next five years (or longer) until the next Rating re-valuation.  We would recommend that it is important that assessments are Checked at an early stage and Challenged if there is a compelling case for an Appeal.

For further information, or a without obligation information conversation, please contact Martin Connolly (Preston) or Andrew Taylorson (Lancaster).