At our Fresh Start breakfast held in Norwich last week, Senior Partner, Robert Dale gave his thoughts on how much there is to be excited about in 2020:

Not only is it 25 years since I joined DCP, 2020 also marks 25 years since the practice expanded into Norfolk – something of which we are very proud.

The longevity of any practice relies on its people, their loyalty and succession and on that note, we’ve had some exciting practice developments.

Last year saw Chris Talford become an Associate here in Norwich and Jason Froude a Partner, in the London office; having joined the practice as a fresh-faced youth 18 years ago, in 2002.

In 2003, another fresh-faced youth, John Read, walked into the Norwich office, and I am delighted to announce that John has also become a Partner.

As well as its people, any successful practice needs loyal clients and colleagues and it is heartening that we have so many with whom we have been working for the best part of a quarter of a century.

It is of course, through our clients, that we get to work on some really exciting and worthwhile projects.  2020 will see some great projects come to fruition.

The Economy

To be honest, the forecasts from the experts for the economy in 2020 don’t exactly get the pulse racing.

GDP is predicted to increase by 1.1%
House prices by about 1%
Inflation; the consumer price index by 2%
Tender prices by 3%

So, why should we be excited?

Despite these somewhat humdrum predictions, I think after all the uncertainty of the last few years, the general mood in the country is one of optimism.  Although, in reality, the factors that caused the economic uncertainty remain, the political certainty that we now have has released a wave of confidence that I think we should all be excited to catch and make the most of.

We are already seeing that wave of confidence picking up in the private and commercial sectors, with talk of previously stalled jobs being released and new schemes being considered.

2020 is looking to be a busy year for DCP particularly in the areas of housing and education.

Our job list includes not only a higher number of new homes than ever before, but also some really interesting schemes including extra care housing for the elderly and temporary accommodation for the homeless, as well as wonderful individual dwellings and interesting conversions.

And of all our education projects, we are really excited to see the innovative Dyson STEAM building at Gresham’s continuing on its very dynamic programme, with works starting on site in the next few months.

What else have we got to be excited about for 2020?

There are a few trends that have been bubbling away for most of the 25 years that I’ve been at Daniel Connal, but I think that 2020 could be the year they really take off.

The first is pre-fabrication.   Whether its volumetric, panel systems or prefabricated components, we are now seeing the advantages of modular building finally take hold.Thermography survey

The second is new technology.  When the Norwich office opened 25 years ago there was one computer and emails were non-existent. Year on year we are using more and more technology in our work and most recently our building surveyors, under the guidance of Richard Bedford, are using thermography as an important tool in defect diagnosis.

Could 2020 be the year when sustainability really becomes a project essential?  We are expecting a new Part L of the building regulations this year which will once again force improvements in required U values, but perhaps this year we will see more clients choosing to consider the environment beyond the measures that they are forced into by legislation.

As consultants, it must be our responsibility to ensure our clients understand the opportunities for reducing the impact of developments on the environment.

There is one less exciting trend of 2019 that I fear could follow us into 2020 – contractors going into liquidation.

This was a national problem that was, unfortunately, also evident locally. As we see contractors trying to fund a rising market, we will be recommending certain practical measures, backed up by contractual conditions, to reduce the risks and potential impact of a contractor going bust on a project.

2020, March 31st to be precise, also sees the 25th anniversary of the CDM Regulations coming into forceWe’ve been involved with Health & Safety from the outset and have recently taken this a step further with the launch of our new DCP Safety and Training brand – an exciting prospect for 2020 and the years ahead.

So, here’s to a Fresh Start and an exciting 2020.




“ I enjoy the buzz of helping clients unlock asset value in property through innovative design and refurbishment solutions”

I joined the Daniel Connal Partnership in 1994, became a Partner in 1997 and Joint Senior Partner in 2011.  My time is split between fee earning work, the management of the business and business development.

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Project Management Surveyor and an Incorporated Member of the Association of Project Safety.

My areas of expertise are Project Management, Dilapidations, Party Wall Advice and Defect Diagnosis.  I also act as an Expert Witness and am a member of the Academy of Experts.

Outside of work I am a keen sailor and have recently given in to the middle aged man’s craze of cycling around in tight lycra.  I am also a frustrated Ipswich Town Supporter.

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“I love the teamwork in delivering a project, but relish the knowledge that our singular input is making a real difference.”

I have been joint Senior Partner of Daniel Connal Partnership since 2011, having joined the practice in 1995 and been made Partner in 1999.

As a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Chartered Building Surveyor, Incorporated Member of the Association of Project Safety and experienced project manager, I enjoy helping our clients deliver their ideas for their property through successful building projects.  It is my aim that our staff enjoy their work and that we always provide the best service we can.

When I am not working I enjoy being active and spending time with my family and friends.

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Jonathan Dennis MA, MRICS

“As an experienced Quantity Surveyor I strive to ensure that all of our clients achieve the best possible value for money when undertaking construction works.”

I joined Daniel Connal Partnership in 2011 as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, was made an associate at the start of 2015 and Partner in January 2016.

I have wide ranging experience in sectors across the industry, including Urban Regeneration, Social Housing, Industrial and Manufacture, Education, Defence, Local Authority and Health and have recently enjoyed developing my knowledge of the conservation of buildings with Listed and Ancient Monument status.

When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am a keen cyclist and also enjoy a leisurely walk around the golf course.

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Andrew Long, MEng, MSc, MRICS

“As a surveyor I delight in the opportunity and knowledge that we have a direct impact on shaping the future, bringing buildings back into service and the prospect of leaving a lasting but sustainable impression on the earth.”

I became an Associate in 2011 having joined the practice in 2010.

As a Chartered Building Surveyor, with areas of expertise in Design, Contract Administration, Project Management, Defects Diagnosis, Building Surveys and Dilapidations, I endeavour to provide our clients with the best service to enhance, preserve and obtain the maximum returns on their diverse property portfolios and building projects.

Outside of work I am in demand from my young family and friends in various active pursuits.

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Jonathan Rensink, Tech.IOSH, AIIRSM, IMaPS

“By working hard and supporting others, you won’t be far off the quote that I take great inspiration from. “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort”. Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

I joined DCP in 1999 and was made an Associate in 2013.

A NEBOSH qualified Health and Safety Consultant; my areas of expertise are Health & Safety, CDM 2015 and the provision of Fire Safety and Risk Management advice.

Outside of work I enjoy walking, badminton and football, taking a keen interest in my local football club, Wivenhoe Town.

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Jason Froude BSc (Hons) MRICS

“As an experienced Chartered Surveyor, my number one aim is to deliver success in terms of my Client’s expectations”

Having joined the Daniel Connal Partnership in 2002, I was made an Associate in 2013 and became a Partner in the London office in 2018. I am a Chartered Building Surveyor, with over 15 years experience and a wide ranging skill base over many industry sectors specialising in Project Management, Party Wall, Building Surveys and CDM Advice.

I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Association of Project Safety.

Lucky enough to have the Surrey Hills on my door step, I am a keen rambler, cycling enthusiast and lawn bowler for my local Lawn Bowls team. For my sins I am also a Crystal Palace Supporter.

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John Read




“It gives me great pride to take projects from inception to completion whilst working closely with the clients to meet their design and cost expectations through construction knowledge, design acumen and property expertise”

I joined Daniel Connal Partnership in 2003 as a trainee Building Surveyor with a BSc in Geography and then undertook a post graduate conversion course at Anglia Ruskin University. I became a Chartered Building Surveyor in 2010, was made an Associate of the Practice at the start of 2015 and became a Partner in 2019.

I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Association of Project Safety and the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

I have a wide ranging skill base over many industry sectors specialising in Design, Contract Administration, Party Wall and CDM Co-ordination.

When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am a keen cricketer and partake in weekly five a side football. I am fortunate to live in the Norfolk countryside and enjoy the benefits of long country walks and sunny days at the beach.

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“I look to use my varied career experience to the benefit of each client and to produce the best outcome on every project”

I was appointed Associate at the Colchester Office in January 2016 having joined the Practice in January 2015.

I am both a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Chartered Construction Manager and have over 30 years’ experience working in both private practice and for contractors. I also have familiarity with the client’s perspective having overseen redevelopment of the buildings at my Church.

My varied experience & knowledge enables me to provide a balanced view on projects for the benefit of all parties involved in the construction process.

I am a Deacon & Trustee of my Baptist Church in Ipswich; enjoy theatre, visiting National Trust Properties and a game or two of tennis in the summer months.

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Chris Talford BSC (HONS) MRICS

“I enjoy assisting our varied client base in developing projects right from the initial idea through to a fully finished building, I take great satisfaction in helping clients understand and develop their knowledge of construction along the way.”

I joined Daniel Connal Partnership as a Senior Quantity Surveyor in 2013 and was made an Associate in 2019.

I have experience across a wide range of sectors including Education, Industrial, Healthcare, Residential and Commercial and have gained valuable knowledge from a very varied workload.

I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Outside of work I enjoy playing golf and attempting to persuade my two young sons to support Sheffield United.

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“As an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor my key aim is always to act with my client’s best interests in mind, delivering high quality building surveying services to them at all times.”

I became an Associate of the practice in November 2016, having joined DCP earlier that year.

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor and Chartered Architectural Technologist with over 28 years experience across a wide range of industry sectors.

A Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, I also act as an RICS APC mentor for the building surveying pathway, helping candidates achieve Chartered status.

When not out surveying buildings I am an avid wildlife photographer and an agency photographer for the RSPB.

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Alastair Clark BSc (Hons) MRICS

“It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be involved with projects, especially seeing a completed building knowing that I have added value by taking a proactive approach to cost and risk management through all the stages of design and construction.”

I joined Daniel Connal Partnership as a Senior Quantity Surveyor in 2005.

Progressing to Associate in 2007, I was made Partner in charge of the Colchester office in 2011, with additional responsibility for Ball Hall (Project Management) Ltd (BHPM) from April 2012, when DCP took over their long time sports hall project management partner.

In January 2017 I became the Managing Director of Ball Hall (Project Management) Ltd.

When not flying the BHPM flag, I enjoy the occasional hack around a golf course or game of football. I am also, for my sins, a life-long supporter of West Ham.

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“I see surveying in its various forms as the means of providing one’s own expertise for the benefit of clients….. and satisfied clients make satisfied surveyors”

I joined what was then Daniel B Connal & Partners in 1964 straight from School and retired as Senior Partner of the Daniel Connal Partnership in 2010. I remain actively supporting DCP with its services, particularly those for Ball Hall Projects, whilst acting regularly as a Mediator, Adjudicator, Arbitrator and Expert Witness in my own right.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

My areas of expertise are Quantity Surveying, Project Management, Contract Administration and Dispute Resolution.

When not in the office, family life happily occupies a lot of my time, and I escape to the golf course or fish for trout when time permits. I am also a Trustee of Headway Essex.

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