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Planning surveyor: job description

Planning surveyor: job description

Planning and development surveyors research, devise and implement plans and policies for commercial and residential developments.
The work of planning and development surveyors is intimately linked to central government planning policies, such as the current emphasis on redeveloping brown-field sites.

What does a planning and development surveyor do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Common tasks of the job include:

  • advising clients on financial and legal matters
  • undertaking property and land surveys/valuations
  • liaison with other professionals such as estate agents
  • assessing plans and deciding whether they are viable
  • writing reports
  • obtaining planning permission
  • overseeing building work
  • managing projects and/or multi-disciplinary teams
  • researching and interpreting relevant information
  • producing competitive proposals

Typical employers of planning and development surveyors

  • Consultancies
  • Private practices
  • Large commercial organisations
  • Private landowners
  • Local authorities
  • Central government
  • Housing associations
  • Property developers
  • Construction companies
  • Utilities companies

Opportunities are advertised by careers services and specialist recruitment agencies, in local and national newspapers and in a range of publications such as Property Week, Estates Gazette and their respective websites. Other useful publications include RTPI Directory of Planning Consultants, RICS Directory and TARGETjobs Property.

Qualifications and training required

Qualification as a planning and development surveyor requires you to become a full member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This is done by getting a relevant qualification and a minimum of two years' vocational experience.

Most entrants possess degrees in architecture, land/property management, planning, construction, building and surveying. A qualification in law, economics, business studies/management or geography can also be useful. Previous relevant work experience may be helpful, and can contribute towards fulfilling RICS' vocational experience requirements.

Key skills for planning and development surveyors

  • A logical and methodical mind
  • IT skills
  • Communication skills
  • An awareness of sustainable and environmental development issues
  • Team working skills
  • Budgeting skills
  • Research and analysis skills
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