Hugh Garratt

Building Conservation

Double-qualified as a surveyor and in law, Hugh Garratt has followed an exceptional career path, never far from historic buildings and heritage property. During 20 years as a resident agent, or factor, he held four commands and was responsible for the full range of estate buildings, from castles and country houses to model farms, mills, chapels, bridges, gates, piers, monuments, &c.

He has a comprehensive understanding of traditional construction and wide ranging experience of fabric repairs and renovation, conservation, alteration and development of Listed buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments. In addition, he has specialist knowledge of parks and amenity woodland and an appreciation for the care of chattels.

Since 2003 Hugh has co-directed a Borders-based surveying practice that specialises in heritage property alongside planning and development work, renewable energy, expert witness and advocacy. The practice has been engaged in the planning and development of numerous buildings, involving procurement, project management, financial control, construction, and Health & Safety.

Hugh uses his practical approach to obtain the necessary planning, Listed building, SAM, and Building Standards approvals. He provides a bespoke service, liaising with architects, engineers, archaeologists, local authorities and conservation bodies, to deliver the clients’ aspirations – on time and to budget.

In recognition of his understanding of heritage property and the quality of services delivered, Hugh has been accepted as an accredited member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Building Conservation Accreditation Scheme.

Planning & Development

Hugh Garratt  codirects Smith and Garratt Rural Asset Management, serving clients throughout England and Scotland (mainly spread through the Scottish Central Belt, the Borders and the North-East of England) from an office in the Scottish Borders.

The company specialises in real property, planning and development, compensation, and expert witness work; it also provides project management services with emphasis on redevelopment of brownfield sites, traditional buildings, energy-efficiency and renewables.

Hugh is equipped to advise where a combination of property and legal skills is required. He has a number of portfolio clients holding a diverse range of assets for both short and long term development; these include traditional estates, corporate and private investors. He is well known for his strategic planning work and for success in structure and local planning, inquiries and appeals. He has court experience, including conducting an 11-day High Court case concerning the re-opening of a minerals

Born in 1961, the second son of a farming family from Kent, Hugh was educated at Cranbrook and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. He took his Honours degree (in law) as a distance learner at Northumbria, Newcastle.

Hugh is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (faculties: rural, planning & development, residential property, minerals & waste management, project management, dispute resolution); and a Fellow of the Association of Agricultural Valuers. He serves on a RICS panel resolving boundary disputes and has spoken for the RICS on energy-efficiency and historic buildings; and is a Trustee for Eyemouth Harbour.

Before setting up his company, Hugh spent 20 years working as Resident Agent or Factor on four historic private estates, first in England, then in Scotland. In these roles he managed a wide range of agricultural, commercial and residential properties and ran a variety of construction and renovation projects. He is experienced in heritage work, and is currently engaged in co-ordinating programmes of restoration and improvement to several important listed buildings.

The main work of the company is advisory, charged on a fixed fee basis or according to time. A proportion of the company’s development work is rewarded on a results basis and in a few cases it holds an equity stake.

Hugh lives with his wife and two children in rural Berwickshire.