Who We Are: The People Behind Property Assistant…. Stuart MacLeod (Design & Planning)

Here at Property Assistant, we work with some amazing individuals and companies who help us to provide a comprehensive range of services to our clients. We know the strength that lies in collaboration but we take some credit for choosing the best people….we have great taste after all!

This week, we’re continuing our focus on the people who help to power the services of Property Assistant with this spotlight on Stuart MacLeod, our design and planning expert.

Stuart MacLeod – Design and Planning Services

Stuart works for Becker Design, a partnership of planning & property professionals who design and deliver first-class living spaces. For us, we rely on the technical know-how needed to offer our clients advice on whether a property is suitable for conversion. Using Stuart’s team, we can provide a buyer with the information they need on whether a purchase is suitable for a long-term project. What’s more, we know that if they decide to take up the challenge of a building project, Becker Design can help them along the way.

From simple drawings to planning applications or full project management, the team at Becker are professional and efficient.

Based in Lightwater, Stuart works in CAD and planning and is the creative talent at Becker Design. He has over 25 years’ experience in design, planning & building in both the public & the private sectors.

Tell us a little about what your job entails.

I run an architecture and planning partnership. We undertake a range of tasks for various homeowners, developers and other professional businesses, where skill in unlocking planning consent is required. Primarily, I am the CAD & Planning man. Others in the partnership are builders, engineers & other planners. With Property Assistant, I’m the guy who determines whether a property is worthy of conversion, addition or redevelopment. i.e. do you have a building plot?

What did you do yesterday?

Site meeting with a client for a development appraisal in Basingstoke. We’re looking to see if we can drop a former warehouse in a primarily residential area and replace it with new homes. After lunch it was to see a homeowner who has instructed us for some building drawings. We went to check drain invert levels.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Most elements are challenging in one part or another, but that’s what makes it interesting. Odd planning decisions – when you submit an application that abides with all of the published planning policy which subsequently gets refused by the councillor planning committee – are frustrating. In those instances we generally take the case to the Planning Inspectorate.

What kind of problems do you face on a day-to-day basis?

Design problems. A client brief – what a client wants – often changes for some external reason. Designing around that problem can be a challenge. Explaining that to the client can also be fun…

What’s it like to work for Property Assistant?

Working with the guys is great. Both Dan & Daryl are chirpy, friendly, knowledgeable agents. Their local knowledge is unsurpassed.

If you weren’t working in your current job, what would be your dream career?

Rock Star, no question. Never mastered an instrument, but I’ve been told I’ve quite the singing voice…

What would be your ideal home and where would this be?

Wow. That’s a big question. There are so many that we see, in so many places that its hard to narrow it down. I like cities, but I like peace and quiet. I like modern and I like old places. Wherever in the world it was, I guess it would have to be somewhere waterside with a bright sunny terrace.

If you won the lottery jackpot, after a house, what would be your first big purchase?

A ship-sized yacht. See above answer.

What’s your guilty pleasure in life?

Sitting on a sunny café or bar terrace putting the world to rights and watching the world go by.

What do you do to unwind after a stressful day?

My wife & I have recently taken up walking in the evening. A great opportunity for both a wind-down and an uninterrupted catch-up. Occasionally we stop at the pub…

What five words would your best friend use to describe you?

Creative, Outgoing, Friendly, Knowledgeable, Fun.

What is the most important thing in life?

Family. My wife & two sons are the reason I get up in the morning.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

Doing more of this by proxy. A team of people working with me as I direct it all from a warm & sunny terrace.