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Building Surveying Team – Restoration of Heath Street Baptist Church

Matthews and Son LLP is delighted to have been appointed as contract administrator and project manager by our client, Heath Street Baptist Church,  to oversee the restoration of the north and south towers and main front façade of the church.

Heath Street Baptist Church Gargoyle

The construction of the church was originally completed in 1861 and is a good example of Victorian high gothic, and its enduring presence bears testament to the high levels of craftsmanship and quality of materials used in its construction.

Restoration at work

However,  the  bath stone to the towers and front façade has deteriorated significantly over the last 161 years.

With the help of Permanens Ltd, who have significant experience in historic building conservation,  we are currently on track to complete a circa 5-month repair programme in June.  We hope that we are helping (in no small part) to preserve the church and its legacy, by ensuring it is in a sound condition, for future generations to appreciate.

For more information, contact Nicholas Coates in our Building Surveying team

Nicholas Coates

Tel 020 3621 3199


For Sale – Sustainable Rail Depot and Local Construction Materials Hub

East Peckham, Kent

A rare opportunity to acquire the last safeguarded rail depot centrally located in the heart of Kent with and established added value ready mixed concrete plant and planning approval for an asphalt plant. Share in the vision for this local construction materials hub, strategically located for the markets of the Kent Weal and benefiting from direct access on to the A228. Together with associated land, offering scope for future alternative uses subject to necessary consents, this is an exceptional opportiunity to buy into the future Kent construction supply chain.

Watch the Video Tour

Key Features

  • Freehold purchase
  • Sustainable rail connected depot with dedicated siding extended and refurbished in last 5 years
  • Established connection to the main railway line and pathways from the West Country and Midlands
  • Permanent planning permission in the Green Belt for depot and added value plant
  • 150,000 tonnes per annum rail throughput
  • 20,000 cubic metres ready mixed concrete capability
  • 50,000 tonnes asphalt supply approval
  • Central location to serve local demand
  • Strategic location with purpose built access on to A228
  • Mains powered plant site
  • Scope for alternative uses of additional land including recycled aggregates as well as development potential as diverse as renewable energy, leisure and housing subject to any necessary consents

Viewings – Strictly by appointment with Matthews & Son LLP only.

For full details and a copy of the full sales brochure, please contact Sian Holmes at Matthews & Son LLP

Sian Holmes

T: 07468 612454


Building For The Future

We are delighted to announce that Nicholas Coates has joined the Building Surveying team at Matthews & Son LLP. 

Nicholas Coates joins Matthews & Son LLP

Nicholas will be taking up the role of Senior Building Surveyor, based primarily out of our London office but looking also to support clients outside of the capital. As a Chartered Building Surveyor, Nicholas extends the team’s capabilities and brings additional focus to dilapidations, party wall, and client due diligence services, together with a broad skill set of traditional building surveying core abilities with an attention to detail and eye for historic as well as more modern buildings.

Nicholas said, “I am delighted to join the team at Matthews and Son LLP. I hope to be able to compliment the team’s current skillset with my own specialist skills and experience, and to be able to contribute to Matthews and Son’s longstanding reputation for providing service excellence”

In appointing Nicholas we are aiming to grow the Building Surveying service continuing to offer a range of Professional Advice, Contract Administration and Project Management services to our existing clients, and providing new clients with opportunities to benefit from the service we provide.

Our Building Surveying Partner, Paul Dawson enthusiastically stated “these are exciting times for Matthews & Son LLP and the property sector in general. We are seeing growth in sectors of the business particularly associated with Building Surveying as clients seek to adapt, maintain and maximise the potential from built assets. In having Nicholas join us we now have the stepping stones to continue to deliver along with the ability to focus on the next generation, as we continually look ahead and build for supporting our clients’ needs into the future”

Outside of the world of professional work, Nicholas is a keen preserver of the nations motoring and engineering heritage being an active member of the Vintage Sports Car Club.

For your Building Surveying needs please contact:

Paul Dawson


T: 020 3621 3193

Nicholas Coates


T: 020 3621 3199

Thinking of an internal refresh?

We recently completed a simple refresh of the internal common parts to a residential mansion block.  The works involved retaining its period features while at the same time tidying up areas and generally giving the area a cleaner more modern feel with new lighting, carpet and wall finishes.

residential building refurbishment

Our Building Surveying partner Paul Dawson noted:

“While winter is the ideal time to move to work inside, with decorating labour becoming available from external works projects, we are finding that contractor’s are likely to already have full order books.  Given that even a simple refresh and change of colour scheme takes longer to schedule in successfully than the typical external decorations package, the new year would be the ideal time for clients considering works to internal common parts to engage with their design team in preparation for next autumn / winter.”

To discuss your needs please contact Paul Dawson

Paul Dawson

T 020 3621 3193


Business Rates review – final report now published

Following the ‘two tranche’ consultation exercises on the Government’s fundamental review of the Business Rates system in 2020, their final report has now been made public.

valuation office business rates

Whilst the timings for implementation of their proposals are not fully clear, the report includes changes such as:

  • A switch to more frequent revaluations (three yearly) from April 2023 onwards
  • A duty on occupiers of rateable property to notify the Valuation Office if changes are made and to provide lease / cost evidence related to them
  • The removal of the ‘Check’ part of the Check, Challenge, Appeal process and the deadline for the ‘Challenge’ process.
  • Introducing new measures to support green investment in non-residential premises, with exemptions for the installation of certain eligible plant and machinery such as solar panels and battery storage.

The full report can be downloaded here

Matthews & Son LLP have long standing experience in dealing with Business Rates for Minerals, Waste Management and Energy properties going back through successive Rates Lists.

To discuss your Business Rates further, contact Paul Malam or Sian Holmes

Paul Malam

Tel 07535 673618

Sian Holmes

Tel 07468 612454

New Minerals Planning Guidance for Soil Handling in Quarry Restoration

The Institute of Quarrying has very recently published the ‘Good Practice Guide for Handling Soils in Mineral Workings’.  It updates previous guidance to provide best practice on agricultural restoration techniques.

Minerals quarry restoration soils

Produced in consultation with Natural England, the Welsh Government and an industry Steering Group its target audience is quarry managers, mineral planners and restoration specialists and has broader relevance to the wider earthmoving / civil engineering / construction community. This document will be of great assistance to both mineral operators seeking to achieve an effective restoration and minerals landowners looking to have the best quality agricultural land handed back to them post aftercare.

The document is available as a free pdf download from

For advice on all aspects of the Minerals Planning process, speak to Simon Chaffe:

Simon Chaffe BSc(Hons) MBA MRICS MIQ

Tel – 07825 700 762

The importance of appointing experienced Mineral Surveyors as an Expert Witness

One area of professional practice service undertaken by Chartered Mineral Surveyors that differs quite significantly from regular client advice is acting as an Expert Witness. The legal implications of any Expert Witness appointment mean that the nature of taking instructions, responsibilities to the client, the approach taken in considering the case and final reporting is strictly controlled.

expert witness chartered mineral surveyor

An Expert Witness can be anyone with knowledge and expertise in a particular field that is beyond that expected of a layman. Expert reports are required in advance of / support of a legal dispute such as a valuation dispute, contractual dispute, matrimonial settlement or rent dispute amongst others. Such appointments can come from one side in a dispute with other Experts providing the opinion on each side (or multiple sides). Alternatively the Expert can be appointed by both sides and acts as a Single Joint Expert. The first significant difference in the nature of the instruction is that whilst a client appoint an Expert, the Expert’s duty is SOLELY to the Court, Tribunal or Arbitrator. That duty over-rides any duty to the party instructing them or paying them. The Expert’s role is not to act as an advocate or to argue the case of the party involved in dispute, but only to give their opinion to the Court based on all the facts they have been able to determine in the case. The Expert is fully impartial and cannot ‘ignore’ evidence even if the party paying the bill does not want it to be considered! In the first stage of the process, a completed Expert report will be shared with the other party to the dispute and vice versa.

How far into the process an Expert Witness will be involved will depend on the nature of the dispute and whether settlement can be achieved through other means, mediation for example. Ultimately though, if settlement is not reached it may be that the Expert will be called upon to appear in Court or Tribunal to give evidence and to be cross examined on it. Accordingly the parties’ selection of their Expert Witness and the strength of their experience in the dispute at hand is critical in giving instructions as not only would an inexperienced Expert be unable to present robust evidence, but also some have been shown to be inexperienced in the legal process itself potentially exposing a lack of impartiality.

RICS members acting as an Expert Witness are required to follow the mandatory RICS Practice Statement “Surveyors Acting as Expert Witnesses’ and ideally follow RICS approved training in order to be included on the RICS Register. Depending on the Court or Tribunal the Surveyor must also comply with (and fully understand) their particular rules.

Before taking an Expert Witness instruction, Chartered Surveyors with a broad professional experience should seriously consider whether they have sufficient depth of knowledge in the particular subject at issue.

Matthews & Son LLP have had many years in acting as Expert Witnesses and Valuers on a range of disputes related to the minerals and waste management sector. These have included planning appeals, rent and royalty disputes, compensation and compulsory acquisition valuations, matrimonial settlements and contractual disputes in various levels of Court or Tribunal as well as through the Arbitration process. It is always hoped that Court is a matter of last resort and we have presented evidence in the mediation process as part of Alternative Dispute Resolution. However, no matter the case we do not take our responsibilities lightly either in terms of reporting, impartiality and, importantly, not taking instructions on matters we do not feel we have the necessary expertise.

If you have a need for an Expert Witness in the specialist property areas of minerals extraction and waste management, do not hesitate to contact us.

Paul Malam – RICS Registered Expert Witness

Valuation / Contractual Disputes/ Matrimonial / Compensation

Telephone – 07535 673618

Simon Chaffe – RICS Registered Expert Witness

Planning / Contractual Disputes / Compensation

Telephone – 07825 700762

Like the view?  Make it yours.

We are recruiting into our Building Consultancy team.

Based from our Bedford Square offices if you are a Chartered or professionally experienced Building Surveyor looking to join an established niche firm to carryout traditional Building Surveying services then please send your CV to Paul Dawson for further details at

Its not all about the West End..

weatherboarded property

As businesses seek to rethink the way that they work the previous hubs such as the West End and City of London are seeing a move to a hub and spoke service delivery alongside remote working.

Does this breathe new life into the provincial towns and maligned high streets? We certainly believe so, and with it a twist on dilapidations.

It makes such a pleasant change to see a vibrant buzzing historic town centre on a gin clear blue sky day, with weatherboarding replacing our staple of stucco and terracotta.

While London remains our core service area we are happy to consider services in Essex and Hertfordshire.

To discuss your dilapidations needs contact our Building Surveyor partner Paul Dawson.


Paul Dawson

T: 020 3621 3193


Second Stage of Business Rates Consultation Looms

The second phase of consultation responses for reform of the Business Rates system in England and Wales are due for submission by 31 October 2020. This follows the earlier consultation responses lodged on 18 September.


Why All Mineral and Waste Valuations Are Not Equal

In the specialist property sectors in which we work (minerals, waste, energy, heavy industrial), we are often presented with the general client request that ‘we need a valuation’.  A competent valuer and Chartered Mineral Surveyor will always follow up that initial request with a check as to ‘what do you need the valuation for and how are you wanting to use it?’ And that is because not all valuations are the same in form or function.

Mineral valuation

Minerals and waste valuations are always dictated by their end purpose, as the purpose will drive the valuation basis, the valuation methodology and whether the valuation is governed by more formal reporting standards. The first two factors will dictate how a valuer approaches and calculates the value of a property and will always affect the reported figure. It is for this reason that valuers who approach every property and valuation purpose the same way, will often end up mis-reporting value and causing headaches (or worse) for their instructing clients. It is essential that the purpose of the valuation is clear to, and agreed by, all parties from the outset.

All valuations undertaken by Chartered Surveyors need to be undertaken having first checked whether they fall within the RICS Valuation Standards, commonly referred to as ‘The Red Book’. These mandatory standards set out the key steps, bases and considerations that valuers must take account of and capture a wide range of regulated valuations. These include valuations for secured lending and valuations for financial statements amongst others. These standards set out stringent requirements on how a valuer approaches every stage of their report from the taking of instructions, through site inspections, record keeping, methodology, considering value and reporting their findings. Many of these requirements should be followed whether or not the valuation is a regulated valuation.

Some valuations can be identified as “exceptions” and fall outside the strict application of the RICS standards (including, for example, valuations for internal discussion purposes to inform business strategy, valuations for taxation such as Probate or CGT (though these fall under their own legislative guidance) valuations for negotiation purposes or to work up compensation claims) and can be more flexible in their approach and methodology. Whilst some of the Red Book standards may still apply, a valuer providing advice in such exceptional cases can depart to some degree from methodologies, perhaps providing a range of values, or values that fit ‘what if?’ scenarios. It is essential however that the valuer makes clear that the valuation is an exception to the full Red Book regulations and explains why in their report. It should also be clear that the valuation should not be used for any other than the stated purpose. A key reason for this is that changing the approach and methodology can, and does, change reported value. A client that has not been informed of this at the outset and uses a valuation falling within the exceptional criteria for a formal, regulated, purpose will be asking for trouble. Likewise, a competent valuer will not allow a valuation to be used for the wrong purpose and should never simply be ‘signing off’ an exceptional approach as a formal valuation.

Over the years the RICS have taken great care to improve and strengthen their standards for property valuation but sadly we still see a  number of negligence claims on which we are asked to provide Expert Valuation advice where Valuers have adopted the ‘one size fits all’ approach, resulting in their clients incurring losses. Sadly, despite the standards it is clear that some valuers are not following them!

At Matthews & Son LLP, as an RICS Regulated Firm we take our valuation responsibilities extremely seriously. All our valuation reports are prepared by RICS Registered Valuers with many years’ experience with these specialist properties and are always peer reviewed by another valuer before issue. The Standards may seem overwhelming and, to some, a ‘nuisance’, but explaining to clients WHY we follow them is a key part of the valuation process. Valuations are not all created equal!


Paul Malam MRICS FIQ

T 07535 673618



Business Rates Reform

As you may be aware, HMG announced in the 2020 budget that it would conduct a fundamental review of business rates in England.  Matthews & Son are advising on the consultation through various channels.


Planning For The Future

Opencast quarry site minerals

Matthews & Son are currently considering the Governments consultation on reforms to the planning system.



The Importance of Using a Chartered Mineral Surveyor

In the field of property advice, it is generally understood what a Chartered Surveyor is. But is a Chartered Mineral Surveyor the same thing? Here we provide some explanation!


The Importance of Long Term Relations in Minerals and Waste Leases

Matthews & Son LLP have many years experience in long term minerals and waste leases and are well versed with avoiding the pitfalls. But what are they?


The Importance of Long Term Relations in Minerals and Waste Leases

Matthews & Son LLP have many years experience in long term minerals and waste leases and are well versed with avoiding the pitfalls. But what are they?


The Importance of Knowing What Lies Beneath!

For many of us, the materials that lie beneath our land are things that we most likely take for granted. They simply represent the ‘earth’ or the ‘ground’ and need no further thought in most cases. But there are also times when it can be extremely helpful to know exactly what lies beneath the surface of your property. Matthews & Son LLP has many years experience of assisting landowners and developers in this area, for a variety of reasons.

UK Geological map


Matthews & Son LLP Minerals and Waste Team Strengthen Expert Witness Service


Matthews & Son LLP are pleased to announce that Simon Chaffe and Paul Malam have been added to the RICS Register of Expert Witnesses.