Paul Dignan

Role involves:

Establishing and now heading up the Building Surveying team, along with Michael, Paul is a dedicated and very busy member of the Lea Hough team.

Day to day he is predominantly focused on professional consultancy services and project management, as well as managing a team of building surveyors.

Paul has a broad range of surveying skills and detailed knowledge of property and construction. He is experienced in delivering large surveying commissions and leading complex projects.

In his role as partner, Paul is also responsible for developing the firm as a whole and takes an active role in business development and growing the profile of the practice.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Paul has extensive experience of dilapidations cases relating to commercial property and is able to provide strategic advice for landlords and tenants, including assistance with exit strategies from leases, helping tenants to budget and plan for dilapidations, and offering advice in break clause situations.

Paul is also regularly instructed by solicitors to prepare expert witness reports addressed to the Court, relating to all kinds of building disputes and property litigation cases, including contractual disputes, standard of work, disrepair, dilapidations and boundaries.

Additionally, he is highly experienced in project management of all types of construction and refurbishment projects for commercial clients.

Career overview:

Paul has over twenty years’ experience in professional practice and he joined Lea Hough in 2005, becoming responsible for managing and developing the Building Surveying department.

Prior to joining Lea Hough, he held similar roles at Manchester based consultancies and qualified as a Chartered Building Surveyor with the RICS in 1999.

When not in work:

Paul spends a lot of time with his family and is passionate about sport – he is a player and junior coach at Oswaldtwistle Immanuel Cricket Club, a junior coach at Whalley Juniors FC and a season ticket holder at Burnley FC.

Michael Harrison

Role involves:

Michael deals with all aspects of the Building Surveying and Project Management side of the practice.

He has expertise in providing specialist property and funding advice to schools, academies and college for building, development and maintenance programmes.

Michael has a knowledgeable and practical approach to all aspects of construction and surveying.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Michael acts as an Educational Building Consultant – assisting schools, academies and colleges with all aspects of managing their buildings. He advises on funding opportunities, prepares bid applications, and prepares long term maintenance/development plans, through to the design, specification and project management of schemes to completion.

Career overview:

Michael has been involved in the building industry all his working life, initially training as a carpenter before going to university and studying building surveying.

Michael has worked in professional practice for 20 years and joined Lea Hough in 2010, becoming a partner in 2013 and now heads up the Building Surveying team along with Paul.

Michael is passionate about establishing and maintaining long term working relationships with a wide range of clients including schools and academies, commercial businesses, dioceses, care home providers, solicitors, land agents, local authorities, property investors and private individuals.

When not in work:

Michael spends a lot of time with his family and also enjoys socialising, walking, watching his local football teams; Preston North End, Longridge Town FC and Chipping JFC and rugby.

Matthew Parkinson

Role involves:

Matthew leads the Valuation and Survey side of the business following the recent amalgamation of his practice with Lea Hough.

Whilst actively carrying out valuation and survey work Matthew also manages a team of RICS Registered Valuers and oversees contracts with a number of corporate and private clients dealing with a wide range of residential property issues, both pre and post-acquisition.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

A Chartered Building Surveyor by training, Matthew has since specialised in undertaking valuation services for a wide variety of clients including legal professionals, charities, local authorities, lending institutions, private individuals and large multinational corporations. Matthew has undertaken valuations on properties up to 1.5 million pounds for both lending and non-lending purposes over the past 13 years.

Matthew has experience of joint and single party appointments as Expert Witness in a wide range of property related disputes.

Career overview:

Matthew is a Chartered Building Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer who worked in private practice as a commercial building surveyor prior to being elected a member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 2005.

After becoming Chartered Matthew worked for private and corporate valuers for several years, before forming and building his own successful practice (Matthew Parkinson Surveying Limited) in North Lancashire in 2016, carrying out a range of Valuation and Building Surveying services and establishing a good local client base. In 2018, Matthew amalgamated his firm with Lea Hough and became a Partner, heading up the Survey and Valuation side of the business.

When not in work:

Matthew is born and bred in Lancaster. Of a weekend, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and is a keen sports fan who follows a wide range of sport but predominantly football, rugby and cricket. He also enjoys walking his dog and assisting at his local primary school where he was formerly a Governor.

Richard Prest

Role involves:

Much of Richard’s work now relates to advising land owning clients in relation to development potential and securing planning consents, followed by subsequent disposal of development sites. His role also includes land appraisals, valuations and strategic advice on development matters.

Richard has a general practice background having previously been heavily involved with the valuation and survey side of the business as well as heading up the property sales and management services from the Blackburn office.

Richard derives particular satisfaction in assisting clients, employing his deep knowledge and experience to achieve their goal, whether carrying out a valuation appraisal or achieving the best possible outcome in a complex residential development scenario involving appraisal, negotiation and project leadership skills.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Richard initially trained as a Rural Practitioner before qualifying as an MRICS Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer.

Richard has extensive surveying, valuation and planning knowledge. He has always maintained an active involvement in agricultural and rural land / property matters, and particularly planning and development. He acts for various private landowners and promote sites on their behalf or through contractual agreements with developers.

A life-long interest in architecture, conservation and heritage issues has led to an involvement in a range of interesting and challenging projects and Charitable Committee appointments.

Career overview:

Richard has been with Lea Hough for over 30 years joining as a partner in 1985.

Richard has developed the multi-discipline ethos of the practice whilst maintaining high professional standards.

With a Chartered Surveyor’s background he has a wide range of property experience including land development, surveys, planning, valuation, sales, lettings, management and compensation.

When not in work:

Richard is passionate about vintage motoring and regularly competes in rallies and trials. He also enjoys spending time with the family and grandchildren and visiting interesting heritage sites.

Richard Bailey

Role involves:

Richard undertakes development consultancy for a range of clients, including public bodies, large or small companies and private individuals.

He advises on planning and development whether it be single plots schemes or large mixed-use sites, strategic land assembly or property capable of enhancement through change of use.

He has been a partner at Lea Hough for nearly 30 years. Over the years Richard has led the firm to become what it is today.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Richard has an in depth knowledge of planning and development and everything that it involves and has spearheaded some major developments for our key clients including the development of Buckshaw Village for BAE Systems.

Career overview:

Richard Joined Lea Hough in 1989 and became a partner in 1991. He has managed and advised on a wide range of projects in the development industry ever since.

Richard has built up an in-depth knowledge and expertise in the identification of potential in property and sites and all the development and planning processes required to realise and maximise that potential.

When not in work:

Richard enjoys spending time with the family, walking and DIY.

Phil Mussell

Role involves:

Phil provides development consultancy advice to land-owner clients including companies and private individuals from initial planning and development appraisal through to securing best value in any subsequent disposal to developers.

His role includes using his land buying experience and knowledge of national and regional planning policies to assess the development potential of short-term and long-term residential development opportunities for clients including valuation and strategic advice on development matters.

Phil has an extensive background in residential land buying for private housebuilding companies in the North West and enjoys exploring methods to maximise development value for clients.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Phil is proficient in land appraisal, project management, development valuations and contract negotiations in the residential sector.  He can provide advice on conditional and unconditional contracts, option agreements and promotional agreements.

Phil has considerable experience in managing a broad range of small, large and complex sites each with their own unique planning, technical and legal characteristics.

Career overview:

Phil has 23 years of land purchasing and management experience including short-term and long-term residential development opportunities.  His experience is primarily with national PLC housebuilders and regional private housebuilders, buying small and large sites from private land-owners and institutions/public bodies. 

Phil started his career in strategic land management for a national house building company and developed his skills to immediate land purchasing.  In addition, he has experience of managing large development projects such as Buckshaw Village, Chorley for BAE Systems which included the sale of residential land to housebuilders, managing site infrastructure and long-term management of woodland and landscaping.

When not in work:

In his spare time, Phil enjoys spending time with his friends and family.  He likes to plan and manage his allotment and possibly makes the best gooseberry jam in the region!  He has a keen interest in politics, film and music and is a season ticket holder at Wigan Athletic FC.  He likes to swim, walk and cycle and enjoys watching historical documentaries and any property related programmes.

Graham Margerison

Role involves:

Graham is a key member of the Building Surveying team and provides a conception to completion service on residential and commercial construction projects; from initial design drawings, through to obtaining planning consent and building regulations, right up to project-managing the contract on site.

Graham’s excellent technical knowledge of construction and property, and his teamwork ethic, has led to the successful completion of many projects, including new-builds, conversions, refurbishments and repairs.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Graham has a great level of technical construction knowledge and design skills. He prepares construction drawings and specifications for high level projects.

As well as having detailed knowledge of Planning Permission requirements and procedures, Graham also prepares Building Regulations drawings and writes Specifications and Schedules of Work, upon which construction contracts are tendered and carried out. He has particular experience of building projects for clients from the commercial, educational and rural sectors.

Career overview:

Graham graduated in 2006 after having joined the practice in 2004, as a Trainee Building Surveyor.

Graham has developed into an integral part of the team, developing close working relationships with clients from various sectors.

When not in work:

Graham regularly helps out on the family farm as well as enjoying skiing and watching rugby and football.

Gary Newton

Role involves:

Gary is an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor, having worked for several years in the commercial property sector. His role within the Building Surveying team covers a variety of tasks, including property inspection reports and condition survey reports for commercial clients and property owners. He also undertakes design work and management of construction projects, whereby he specifies, designs, tenders and administers contracts for a variety of construction, conversion and refurbishment schemes. Additionally, he also carries out other professional services including dilapidations and party wall matters.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Gary has gained vast experience in a variety of aspects of Building Surveying during his career, predominantly within the commercial sector. He has been involved with the survey, design and refurbishment/fit-out of premises on behalf of a national retail client. He has also undertaken large refurbishment schemes to office accommodation as well as works in the housing and education sectors.

Career overview:

Gary joined Lea Hough in 2017 having previously worked for many years for a Manchester based building surveying practice where he was involved in the full range of services provided by Building Surveyors to commercial, residential and retail clients.

Gary qualified as a Chartered Building Surveyor with the RICS in 2008. He also holds an HND in Building Studies and a BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying, both from the University of Salford.

When not in work:

Out of work Gary enjoys spending time with his young family and friends. He enjoys socialising, walking and also enjoys watching motorsport.

Gareth Clarke

Role Involves:

As a Chartered Building Surveyor, Gareth’s role within the Building Surveying team covers a variety of tasks, including survey inspection reports for prospective purchasers and condition survey reports for commercial and property owners. He also assists with professional work including dilapidations, party wall matters and boundary assessments.

Additionally, he specifies, designs, tenders and administers contracts for a variety of construction, conversion, refurbishment and extension projects.

Service Covered:

Area of expertise:

Property survey reports come somewhat of a second nature to Gareth who undertook countless condition survey inspections of various property types within the Utility Sector in the 18 months after leaving university, and has developed his experience whilst at Lea Hough. He also has experience in defect diagnosis and report writing as well as being adept at project management.

Career Overview:

Gareth joined Lea Hough in 2016. Prior to this, Gareth has spent 18 months working for a private practice in Greater Manchester as a Graduate Building Surveyor. Whilst at Lea Hough, he undertook his APC post-graduate training route, via the firm’s Structured Training Programme and he became a Chartered Building Surveyor with the RICS in 2018.

When not in work:

Gareth enjoys spending time with his young child and his friends and family. When not socialising, time is spent renovating his newly purchased home and playing music from his ever growing vinyl collection. Gareth tries to give something back to the community by regularly giving blood.

James Leech

Role involves:

James is a key member of our Survey & Valuation team. He is a Chartered Valuation Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer, and advises on both Residential and Commercial property matters.

His role focuses on commercial and residential valuations, Homebuyer Reports and general property advice including landlord & tenant matters.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

James has experience in valuing a wide variety of property across the residential, retail, office and industrial sectors throughout Lancashire.

He undertakes work for various clients including lenders, pension funds, private individuals and businesses ranging from sole traders to PLCs.

Additionally, he undertakes Homebuyer Reports for purchasers and is well versed in disposals/acquisitions and landlord and tenant negotiations.

Career overview:

James joined Lea Hough in 2017, having previously worked for a Lancaster based practice of estate agents and surveyors where he focussed on commercial agency, valuations and other professional work.

James is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Registered Valuer. He holds an HNC in Construction from Blackburn College and a Certificate in Professional Development from the University College of Estate Management.

When not in work:

Outside of work, James enjoys spending time with his family, dog walking, running and is a season ticket holder at Morecambe FC.

Thomas Sutton

Role involves:

Thomas is part of our Survey & Valuation team, being a Chartered Valuation Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer.

Thomas’ role is focussed on the valuation of property including; residential dwellings, development land and commercial premises, working for a wide range of private and corporate clients. Thomas also undertakes a range of pre-acquisition survey instructions including; Building Survey Reports, RICS Homebuyer Reports and New-build ‘Snagging’ Reports.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Thomas has  a wide range of experience undertaking property valuations for a number of corporate and private clients across the North West.

Having undertaken a Building Surveying degree, Thomas also has excellent knowledge of construction and building pathology. Thomas undertakes a range of pre-acquisition survey inspections including; Building Survey Reports and RICS Homebuyer Reports etc.

Career overview:

Thomas joined our team in 2016, after graduating from the University of Salford, with a first class degree in Building Surveying. After completing 12 months’ work experience he then became a RICS Registered Valuer and Associate member of the RICS in 2017.

Having completed Lea Hough & Co’s Structured Training Programme, Thomas then successfully passed the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence in May 2020 to become a Chartered Valuation Surveyor.

When not in work:

Thomas is a keen sports fan and is a season ticket holder at Blackburn Rovers FC. He also enjoys cooking, travelling and socialising with friends and family.

James Roberts

Role involves:

James is a member of our Survey & Valuations team. With experience in dealing with both residential and commercial property, he undertakes property inspections and prepares Valuation Reports, RICS Homebuyer Reports, and Building Survey Reports for a variety of clients.

As well as this, he also undertakes Property Management services on behalf of landlords. This role includes the collection of rents, periodic management inspections, identifying defects, arrangements for repairs, tenancy renewals, tenant vetting, and interviewing.

James is a qualified AssocRICS Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

James has experience in valuing a wide variety of both residential and commercial properties. He has a strong knowledge of the North West property market, having worked across Manchester, Chorley and East Lancashire for a number of years.

When advising prospective purchasers upon the valuation of a property, James adopts a methodical approach, using data gathered from the local markets to identify trends, as well as considering all factors, including a building’s condition, to determine true market value for a property.

James is also undertakes Property Management services for a variety of property types and is well-versed in sales, lettings, and lease negotiations.

Career overview:

James previously worked for a market leading estate agent for over three and a half years where he focussed on the valuation of residential property, as well as sales and lettings.

James is a qualified AssocRICS Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer. James followed Lea Hough’s structured training programme that is approved by the RICS.

When not in work:

James is passionate about sport. He is a life-long Chelsea FC supporter, an avid tennis player and regular gym goer.

Paul Drake

Role involves:

Paul is an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor, and his role within the Building Surveying team covers a variety of tasks including planned maintenance surveys, specifications, project-management of construction projects, as well as survey inspections, defect analysis and condition survey reports.

Services covered:

Areas of expertise:

Paul has extensive knowledge of planned maintenance and refurbishment projects to traditional buildings. His forte is overseeing repair and refurbishment projects to buildings that are of traditional construction, such as stone-built property, rural buildings, and older property and Listed Buildings. Paul is happy to scope works, obtain Planning Approval / Listed Building Consent, prepare specifications/ tender documents, and project-mange building contracts through to completion. As well as this, Paul has had considerable involvement with the installation of renewable energy projects such as biomass boilers and PV solar panels.

Career overview:

Paul has thirty years’ experience in the surveying profession and he became MRICS qualified as a Chartered Building Surveyor with the RICS in 2000. Prior to joining Lea Hough, Paul worked as an in-house Building Surveyor/Estates Manager at Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority for 16 years. Prior to this, Paul previously worked as a Building Surveyor in private practice and for two local councils. After qualifying as a Chartered Building Surveyor, Paul worked in private practice for a number of years, and he carried our contract administration for large-scale group housing refurbishment projects.

When not in work:

Paul likes to spend most of his spare time outdoors and spend time with his family. He enjoys cycling and is a member of Clitheroe Bike Club. He enjoys hill walking in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. He regularly volunteers for the Ribble Rivers Trust and Wyre River Trust. Paul is originally from Bristol but has lived in Lancashire for over twenty years. He is a keen supporter of both Bristol City FC and Blackburn Rovers FC.

Mat Wright

Role involves:

As a Building Surveyor, Mat’s role within the Building Surveying team covers a wide variety of tasks, including performing inspections of property, measured surveys, preparing condition reports, design drawings and project management services.

In particular, a large part of Mat’s workloads involves schools, academies, commercial property clients and developers.

Mat is working towards becoming a Chartered Building Surveyor by following Lea Hough’s structured training programme that is approved by the RICS.

Services covered:

Area of expertise:

Mat enjoys putting his construction knowledge into practice by undertaking inspections, condition assessments and measured surveys of property.

He specifies, designs, tenders and administers contracts for a variety of construction projects, especially within the educational sector.

He also prepares Lang Registry compliant plans for land transfers/sales.

Career overview:

Mat joined Lea Hough in 2018 and spent a placement year in our Building Surveying department, as part of his Building Surveying degree course at the University of Salford. He continued to work at Lea Hough whilst completing the final year of his degree and in 2020, he was awarded a first class BSc. (Hons) degree in Building Surveying.

Mat is now working towards becoming a Chartered Building Surveyor by following Lea Hough’s structured training programme and undertaking the RICS’s Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

Prior to working at Lea Hough, Mat completed work experience with local surveying firms. He also has worked in the retail industry throughout college and university.

When not in work:

Mat is an avid football fan and regularly watches his local team – Preston North End. He also plays 5-a-side football with friends, and enjoys going on walks with his dog.

Dominic Brown

Role involves:

Dominic works within the Survey and Valuation team, undertaking valuations and surveys in both Residential and Commercial property markets. His role focuses on commercial and residential valuations, development appraisals and general property advice including landlord and tenant matters. He also has significant experience of undertaking Asset Valuations of large, diverse property portfolios on behalf of Local Authorities.

Services include:

Area of expertise:

Dominic has experience in valuing a wide range of property across residential, retail, office and industrial sectors throughout the North West region. He has also been involved in disposal/acquisitions matters and various landlord and tenant negotiations. He has further undertaken various advisory work with local authorities operating within the regeneration and development sector, as well as Asset Valuations of property portfolios for Borough Councils.

Additionally, he undertakes work for various clients including lenders, pension funds, and private individuals.

Career overview:

Dominic graduated from the Royal Agricultural University with an upper second-class degree in Rural Land Management in 2018. After graduating, Dominic started his career in commercial real estate before joining Lea Hough in 2020. After gaining three years of experience, Dominic qualified as an MRICS Chartered Commercial Property Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer in 2021.

When not in work:

Outside of work, Dominic enjoys playing football, tennis and golf, walking his dog, spending time with friends and family and is a season ticket holder at Liverpool F.C.

Craig Armitage

Role Involves:

Craig’s role of Graduate Building Surveyor covers a wide variety of Building surveying and Project Management tasks, including performing inspections of property, measured surveys, preparing building plans and construction drawings, condition assessments, scoping building works and contract administration services.

In particular, a large part of Craig’s workloads involves working for schools and academy clients in the education sector.

Craig is working towards becoming qualified with the RICS, and he is following Lea Hough’s structured training programme.

Services Covered:

Area of expertise:

Craig’s main workload involves supporting colleagues with a large upgrade projects to schools and academies.

He frequently undertakes measured surveys and prepares drawings of properties, and is generally gaining a wide range of experience on various Building Surveying tasks, for our diverse base of clients.

Career Overview:

Craig joined Lea Hough in 2021, upon completing his degree course in Building Surveying through Lancaster University at Blackburn College.

He is now undertaking the AssocRICS pathway initially, and is also working towards becoming an MRICS Chartered Building Surveyor with the RICS in the coming years.

Whilst at university Craig also worked for Northern Eco Installations, assessing the suitability of the installation of energy efficiency measures in domestic properties. Prior to this he worked as an ECO surveyor, assessing domestic properties for a range of energy efficiency and carbon saving measures, a role which required him to assess property condition and identify property defects.

When not in work:

Craig enjoys regularly keeping fit, including trail running on Darwen Moors, going to the gym and hiking in the Lake District. He also enjoys cooking and dining out at restaurants with friends and family.

Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: 7 Ferry Road, Office Park, Preston, PR2 2YH.