DJE Construction

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by DJE Construction's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from DJE Construction is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

djeconstruction.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | DAVID LOCK ASSOCIATES
within bounds: too much and the
development will be non-viable and
the land will be left idle; too little
and gross profiteering by developers
isdistasteful.
Aside from CIL, there is a scramble
for money from a possible planning
consent from council departments
and public agencies. The “bids”
are typically posted by the planning
service, unedited, to the prospective
developer. This is a wasteful free-for-
all. We hope for a review of the whole
issue of “developer’s obligations”,
as these taxes are called, and for
the future of CIL to be placed in
thatcontext.
The power to take private land at
current use value, compulsorily if
necessary, has been a key feature of
the New Towns Act and Planning Acts
since the 1940s and is now specifically
available to local authorities should
they wish to start a small new town.
As dismaying as the exercise of such
power can be to the landowners
in these locations, negotiated
settlements allowing more flexibility
are commonplace. Farmland is not yet
development land: all infrastructure
must be provided first. We hope to
see that power of the New Towns Act
deployed more often – it has enabled
32 new towns to be built, ultimately at
no extra cost to the taxpayer, thanks to
sharing the unearned value generated
by the granting of planning permission
to build the town.
Popular support for small-
scale control of development
People in the UK cannot do as they
please with their land and buildings.
This control defuses angry quarrels
over the use of land and enables
unlawful uses to be stopped. At
the local level this is a highly valued
planning feature: it avoids the need for
face-to-face confrontation as letters
can be written to the planners.
To ease the constraint, ministers
maintain a schedule of “permitted
development” that grants planning
permission without need for an
application. Unfortunately, in the hunt
to find fresh sources of new homes
of all tenures, recent changes to the
schedule now enable random office
blocks, factories and warehouses to
be converted to homes which can be
appallingly small in size, with no green
space, and sometimes even without
windows. No “developer’s obligations”
are required. The unintended
consequence of this has been to create
future slum housing in some very
unsuitable places, and it misjudges the
public support for the detailed control
of development. We hope these
relaxations will be reconsidered: they
discredit the innocent planning system.
It can be a
shock to be
reminded that
the right to
develop land
in the UK was
nationalised
in1947
Village clusters growing in the former brickfields,
Bedfordshire. David Lock Associates for O&H Properties
The Oxford to Cambridge Arc to 2050,
approved vision by government advisors
27DJE CONSTRUCTION |
INFRASTRUCTURE & DEVELOPMENT
David and Richard Evans
DJE Construction Ltd offices and
workshop, Attleborough, Norfolk
Founded by chartered engineer David Evans, DJE Construction
specialises in mini piling and civil engineering contracting.
Since 1994, the company has encountered a variety of
challenges, including overcoming a recession and complex
legislation changes. David explains to
The Parliamentary Review
that through perseverance, a skilled workforce and careful
investment, he has led the company to continued growth.
DJE Construction is a family-owned business based in Norfolk and Kent operating
in East Anglia, the South East and London. We provide special foundations and
restricted access piling for both private and commercial clients.
I formed the company 25 years ago following my degree and 20 years in
construction and piling. My son Richard joined the company eight years ago as part
of our succession plan. He originally graduated in mechanical engineering and has
now gained extensive geotechnical and engineering experience with the company,
and has been instrumental in our recent expansion with the acquisition of L&J
Projects and will be leading our future growth.
We have a team of experts who have extensive knowledge and experience,
including in-house civil, structural and geotechnical engineers, practically minded
contracts managers and site operatives. Their expertise complements the transition
from design to construction on site.
FACTS ABOUT
DJE CONSTRUCTION
»Managing Director: DavidEvans
»Founded in 1994
»Located in Norfolk
»Services: Special foundations
and restricted access piling for
both private and commercial
clients
»No. of employees: 26
DJE Construction
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | DJE CONSTRUCTION
Culture and values
We are committed to developing
our business by being customer
orientated and by providing a
service which exceeds expectations,
including guaranteeing best value in
engineering, design and price.
Our staff and crews are trained in-
house in our methods and procedures
using our own plant and equipment.
Our policy is to promote employees
from within our company whenever
possible, supporting them to achieve
the maximum benefits from their
employment along with a satisfactory
work-life balance. This has proven
successful, as many of our employees
have been part of the company for
over 15 years, with several returning
after having left for supposed
greenerpastures.
When first joining the company,
a number of employees had
demonstrated an aversion to accepting
any responsibility. However, with
support and encouragement from
current management, they have
progressed to become very effective
foremen and managers.
We concentrate on what we do best
– maintaining our core values – and
have refused to be enticed into areas
promising easy profits, and have
avoided retrospective problems which
can damage one’s reputation.
Recent growth
Over the last 18 months we have taken
over L&J Projects, a company we have
worked alongside for several years,
based in the south east of England. This
has resulted in a 50 per cent increase in
turnover, and it has been successfully
integrated into the DJE group while
operating as a stand-alonecompany.
Both companies have benefited from
the best of each other’s systems and
principles. Our plan is to expand L&J
Projects into a significant player in the
restricted access piling market in the
south east of England and London
undertaking work for both private and
commercial clients.
With over 4,000 contracts completed
to date, we have delivered solutions to
all aspects of foundation construction,
from underpinning buildings due to
subsidence to jacking others back to
level, from stabilising slopes through to
constructing basements.
We are currently investing in upgrading
and refurbishing some of our piling
rigs, as we cannot source new rigs to
match their quality and performance.
On occasions we have either modified
our existing rigs or built new ones
to undertake projects where access
or site conditions are not suitable to
accommodate equipment as they
stand. This gives us the flexibility to
take on contracts that others are not
able or prepared to accept.
Challenges faced or facing
One of the most significant challenges
we have faced was in 2000 to 2003,
when 80 per cent of our work was
insurance funded underpinning.
Over this period, insurance companies
decided to appoint national or regional
Slope stability contract,
Croydon
We have a
team of experts
who have
extensive
knowledge and
experience,
including in-
house civil,
structural and
geotechnical
engineers,
practically
minded
contracts
managers and
site operatives
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | DJE CONSTRUCTION
Culture and values
We are committed to developing
our business by being customer
orientated and by providing a
service which exceeds expectations,
including guaranteeing best value in
engineering, design and price.
Our staff and crews are trained in-
house in our methods and procedures
using our own plant and equipment.
Our policy is to promote employees
from within our company whenever
possible, supporting them to achieve
the maximum benefits from their
employment along with a satisfactory
work-life balance. This has proven
successful, as many of our employees
have been part of the company for
over 15 years, with several returning
after having left for supposed
greenerpastures.
When first joining the company,
a number of employees had
demonstrated an aversion to accepting
any responsibility. However, with
support and encouragement from
current management, they have
progressed to become very effective
foremen and managers.
We concentrate on what we do best
– maintaining our core values – and
have refused to be enticed into areas
promising easy profits, and have
avoided retrospective problems which
can damage one’s reputation.
Recent growth
Over the last 18 months we have taken
over L&J Projects, a company we have
worked alongside for several years,
based in the south east of England. This
has resulted in a 50 per cent increase in
turnover, and it has been successfully
integrated into the DJE group while
operating as a stand-alonecompany.
Both companies have benefited from
the best of each other’s systems and
principles. Our plan is to expand L&J
Projects into a significant player in the
restricted access piling market in the
south east of England and London
undertaking work for both private and
commercial clients.
With over 4,000 contracts completed
to date, we have delivered solutions to
all aspects of foundation construction,
from underpinning buildings due to
subsidence to jacking others back to
level, from stabilising slopes through to
constructing basements.
We are currently investing in upgrading
and refurbishing some of our piling
rigs, as we cannot source new rigs to
match their quality and performance.
On occasions we have either modified
our existing rigs or built new ones
to undertake projects where access
or site conditions are not suitable to
accommodate equipment as they
stand. This gives us the flexibility to
take on contracts that others are not
able or prepared to accept.
Challenges faced or facing
One of the most significant challenges
we have faced was in 2000 to 2003,
when 80 per cent of our work was
insurance funded underpinning.
Over this period, insurance companies
decided to appoint national or regional
Slope stability contract,
Croydon
We have a
team of experts
who have
extensive
knowledge and
experience,
including in-
house civil,
structural and
geotechnical
engineers,
practically
minded
contracts
managers and
site operatives
29DJE CONSTRUCTION |
INFRASTRUCTURE & DEVELOPMENT
companies to undertake their work,
which precluded us from access to all
but the most challenging contracts.
This decision resulted in a significant
reduction in our workload and meant
that we had to seek alternatives. While
this proved extremely challenging, we
adapted our piling rigs to carry out open-
site piling along with the associated
reinforced concrete work. This enabled
us to successfully access these different
markets with minimal drop in turnover.
Our next significant challenge was in
2008, with the longest recession in
recent history. In October of that year,
enquiries and work dropped significantly,
leading to the immediate laying off of
staff and crews, as it was evident that this
was not going to be a short-lived period.
Careful financial management and
support from our loyal clients helped
us through these difficult years. Our
experience gained during the 2003
period proved invaluable, as we
pursued work in different areas of
the country and introduced additional
geotechnical services to our clients.
With legislation and regulation
becoming ever more complex and
onerous, it is essential to ensure that
all processes are kept as simple as
possible. Equally important is the
administration, especially concerning
operational matters, is dealt with by
those directly responsible on site and
not farmed out to consultants, due to
the complex form filling often required.
Over the years, legislation and regulation
have been imposed on businesses to try
and improve and safeguard individuals,
often without adequate consultation
with all parties involved. While the
intention of most of the legislation is
right and admirable, it is essential to
ensure that the spirit as well as the letter
of the intended regulation is adhered
to. In some cases, it has given rise to yet
another profession of administration.
This puts further pressure on business
owners to undertake action themselves,
where possible, or to incur the spiralling
cost of appointing outside consultants,
increasing SME overheads and reducing
profits. Reduced profits mean less
potential for investment, business growth
and recruitment, which directly affects
the health and wealth of thenation.
We hope the future sees us continue
to upgrade our services, and we are
confident that our acquisition of L&J
Projects will serve us well in the future.
In conjunction with this, we are working
to update our website and are investing
in a lunchtime seminar presentation
for engineers and architects. Through
continuing to invest in our staff and
our services, we are confident in a very
bright futureindeed.
We are
committed to
developing our
business by being
customer
orientated and
by providing a
service which
exceeds
expectations,
including
guaranteeing
best value in
engineering,
design and
price
Piled basement wall,
Kensington, London
Piling rig on contract in
Norwich

djeconstruction.co.uk

This article was sponsored by DJE Construction. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development