Project & Building Consultancy

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Project & Building Consultancy'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 Project & Building Consultancy 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

Managing Director PaulPhilips
Landed Estates Refubishment,
Belgrave Square
London-based Project & Building Consultancy was founded
by the current managing director, Paul Philips, in 2001
as a joint venture with Matthews & Goodman Chartered
Surveyors. Their goal was to provide building consultancy and
project management services to clients across the property and
construction industry. Having started with just eight people,
and a turnover of less than £500,000, the company now has a
team of 22 qualified building surveyors, project managers and
support staff and a turnover in excess of £2.5 million. Paul tells
The Parliamentary Review
Growth and ambition
Right from the start, we had ambitious plans to grow the company by attracting
new clients and extending our range of services. We quickly gained ISO 9001 and
14001 accreditation, and in addition to being members of our professional body –
the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – we became members of the British
Council for Offices and the Association of Project Managers.
In 2006, a new project management department was created, and today we have
a team of six highly skilled project managers and support staff. Alongside this, our
building consultancy and project monitoring department has grown to a team of
12 working across a wide portfolio of prestigious residential properties, landed
estates, leisure, industrial and commercial properties and developments.
In 2016, PBC became wholly owned by the current shareholders, and it now has
a board of four directors. From day one, we have invested in the training and
»Managing Director: PaulPhilips
»Founded in 2001
»Located in City of London
»Services: Building consultancy
and project management
»No. of employees: 24
»Number of instructions: 100+
»Largest current project: Phased
refurbishment of three HQ
office buildings in Surrey, with
a construction value of circa
£45 million
Project & Building
Highlighting best practice
development of staff, having helped
12 building surveying and project
management graduates to achieve
their professional qualifications and
chartered status.
Because of our size, PBC offers
director-level involvement and
experienced professional advice across
all instructions. Our list of clients is
diverse and includes property owners,
investors and developers, funds, banks
and other lenders, landed estates in
central London, and serviced office
providers and occupiers. Projects
include commercial offices, industrial
and distribution, residential properties,
student accommodation, and hotels
and leisure, as well as motorway
service areas (a specialist sector).
Working with and adapting
to the economy
Whatever the political or economic
climate, buildings will always need
repairing and maintaining, and
property owners and investors will
always require professional, technical
help and advice on party wall and
neighbourly matters. As a result, our
building consultancy department
remains the foundation of the business
due to the recession-proof services
it offers. The business framework
agreement with one major estate
owner to provide planned, preventative
maintenance works over the last 15
years is one example of our recession-
proof services.
The 2008 economic downturn did
impact the project management side
of our business. However, because of
our size and expertise, we were able
to quickly and successfully refocus on
active areas of the property market.
In 2018, the increase in the Stamp
Duty Land Tax on residential properties
also impacted some high-value
residential developments in central
London, with clients deciding to
postpone projects or sell. Again, we
adapted by generating replacement
new business in the commercial,
industrial and leisure sectors, where
yields remained higher.
The slow planning process in the UK,
and particularly in London and the
southeast of England, has delayed
many projects, with planning decisions
taking far longer than the eight-week
statutory determination period. As a
consequence, some clients have been
unwilling to commit to the cost of the
design and tender stages of the project
until planning consent is secured.
However, the economic uncertainty
created by the outcome of Brexit
continues to pose the biggest threat.
Fewer opportunities for transactions
and lack of confidence in the property
52-54 St John Street,
London EC1 Office
Costa Coffee Roastery,
Because of our
size, PBC offers
advice across
all instructions
market are having a negative impact
on property sales, with many investors
and developers awaiting the outcome
of the deal before committing to
development capital expenditure.
Conversely, the construction industry
is thriving, but with 26 per cent of the
UK construction labour force coming
from the EU, and the potential impact
on material prices and delivery times
that a no-deal Brexit might bring, the
future is still uncertain. In this climate,
innovation will be crucial to “value-
engineer” projects to reduce client
expenditure, and other sources of
finance will need to be found.
The future
PBC is governed by strong business
leadership and management. Our
strategy for profitable growth has
been achieved through building long-
term and trusting relationships with
clients, resulting in repeat business and
referrals, as well as through mergers,
acquisitions and strategic alliances.
This growth has been steady and
controlled, as a result of which we
have been profitable every year since
we started.
This year, there are plans to introduce
new consultancy services to further
expand our service offerings.
Refurbishment of our offices, a
refresh of our website and brand, and
continued investment in infrastructure
and staff are all part of our short-term
business plan.
Longer term, the plan over the next
five years is to continue expanding
each of our profit centres, and to
increase turnover from £2.5 million to
£4 million.
I believe we now have the best team
that I have ever had the pleasure of
leading, which means that we are
on track to achieve both our short
and longer-term goals, despite the
challenges posed by the current fluid
political and economic climate.
PBC is the only building consultancy
in the southeast of England to
have project-managed the
consecutive development of two
major motorway service areas.
»Beaconsfield MSA was opened
in 2010, with a construction
value in excess of £30 million.
The site was an area of ancient
woodland and involved the
removal and replanting of 30
acres of mature trees to ensure
the environmental context was
»Cobham MSA was completed
in 2012, with a construction
value in excess of £60 million.
The project involved moving
300m3 of earth and creating an underpass under the M25 motorway, while keeping all eight lanes of the
carriageway open. This is now the busiest MSA in the UK.
Cobham MSA Development,
J9 M25 Motorway
The slow
process in the
UK, and
particularly in
London and the
southeast of
England, has
delayed many

This article was sponsored by Project & Building Consultancy. 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 Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster