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Structural Engineer

James Shipton B.Eng(Hons)

... has a long and varied background in the construction industry, with a knowledge base spanning more than 25 years. He offers a personal and efficient service producing structural designs and calculations from his office in Downton near Salisbury. Geography, however, need not be a constraint since most projects can be detailed using architects' drawings thus avoiding the need for a site visit. If you are looking for a structural design using steel, concrete, timber or masonry, for a new build, extension, loft conversion or other building project, you have come to the right place. James works to current British Standards ensuring a safe and rigorous design.

If you haven't yet appointed an architect you might consider keeping everything in-house with James. He can take your ideas, combined with his, if you like them, and produce all of the necessary drawings for a planning application - if required. James can advise you on your Permitted Development rights and point you in the right direction if planning permission is required. A planning application can also be prepared and submitted to the local authority on your behalf.

Further to helping with your planning application James can take your project to the next stage - Building Regulation's Approval. This will involve preparing construction drawings that show compliance with current Building Regulations and the package will include everything including structural calculations. The calculations are there to show that the designed, structural elements are suitable, robust and safe.

If you would like a no obligation consultation then please contact James using the details at the top of the page. Go to top

Planning Permission / Building Regulations

Listed Building Consent / Heritage Assessments

Flood Risk Assessments / Design & Access Statements

Structural Engineering

You may just be looking for a structural engineer to provide you with calculations for a simple knock through between your Sitting Room and Dining Room or your project might require the design of something much more complex. James can help you with everything from a simple beam design to everything you will need for your "Grand Designs" home. James works with timber, steel, reinforced concrete and other contemporary materials and he can provide design details from foundations to roof structure and everything in between.

Other design elements might include:

  • Foundations
  • Beam Designs
  • Steel Frame Design
  • Timber Frame Design
  • Roof Structures
  • Below Ground Basements
  • Underpinning Design
  • Drainage Solutions such as soak-away design
If you are in need of a structural engineer then why not get in touch with James using the details at the top of the page. Go to top


If your project proposals include making significant changes to your home, you may need to apply to your local authority for Planning Permission. In October 2008, general Permitted Development rights were overhauled and published in an Amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act. The legislation is complex but does, in general, give the home owner more freedom in what he can build without the need to apply for planning consent. It is, however, often necessary to apply for a Permitted Development Certificate which will be required by your legal team if you ever decide to sell your home. For more information see the Plain English Guide to the Planning System.

Perhaps you are at the early stages of your building project and would like some advice on the planning system or you would like to explore build possibilities. James can help you at every stage of your project including initial conceptual thoughts, a project feasibility study, environmental impact assessment, flood risk analysis and more. James can carry out a measurement survey of your home, produce as built drawings and put forward sketch schemes for your consideration. After further client consultation, final design drawings are prepared and these will be used to form part of your Planning Application.

If your application for planning permission is successful then you are over the biggest hurdle. The next stage involves making an application for Building Regulations' approval. Detailed construction drawings can be prepared to show that your project will comply with current building regulations and will form part of your Building Regulations' application. These drawings can also be used to help secure a quotation from your builder. Good quality construction drawings are an aid to you, your builder and other parties that may be involved with your project. Many client/builder disputes could be avoided by the production of clear unambiguous drawings.

If you are building a new home, an extension, loft conversion or any other form of building and would like a free no obligation consultation, contact James today using the details at the top of the page. Go to top

Property Inspections

A plethora of property surveys, or inspections, seem to be offered to the home buyer these days. Surveys ranging from mortgage valuations to full structural condition inspections. Your mortgage company will usually need to carry out their own inspection in order to confirm that the amount being lent is less than the property value. This is in order to protect their investment. This type of survey will usually be brief and, although might include a list of some property defects, will not usually be comprehensive. Many surveys offered by other surveyors will often be comprehensive but will usually recommend that you instruct a structural engineer to look at areas that the surveyor is concerned about. You will now be paying for two inspections – the initial surveyor’s and then the structural engineer’s.

Your home is, for most people, the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime and, therefore, you should be aware of exactly what you are buying and what condition the property is in. We can advise on the cosmetic condition of the property in addition to the structural condition. We can advise on any remedial works that may be required and provide you with a full report detailing our findings, including a detailed list of any defects, along with recommendations going forward.

If you would like to make further enquiries about having your home or other property inspected then why not contact James using the details at the top of the page. Go to top

Example Drawing 1

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Example Drawing 2

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Example Calculation Sheets

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