Building survey of 80-acre conference site

Client Name: Compass Contract Services Ltd

Location: Stone, Staffordshire

Services: Building surveys, pre-acquisition leasehold advice on future dilapidations liabilities, advice with leasehold acquisition liability


The Brief

Brasier Freeth’s Building Surveying Team was instructed by our client to undertake pre-acquisition leasehold surveys of a Training & Conference Centre in Staffordshire. This instruction was an emergency for the Client who negotiated the acquisition of the facility but, as part of the deal, the Client had to complete the transaction within a very short time frame.

Our client, Compass Contract Services Ltd, is a subsidiary of Compass Group UK – the world’s leading foodservice and support services organisation, offering contract catering and facilities management.

The Journey

Compass was proposing to acquire the lease of Yarnfield Park, one of the largest conference and training facilities in the UK.  Our Building Surveyors were called upon to undertake a detailed appraisal of the 80-acre site in the heart of the Midlands.

The Team undertook building surveys of 25 conference and training spaces, a sports centre and 338 bedroom accommodation blocks.

The facility had an interesting history with some of the accommodation dating back to the 1930’s, having served as hostels for workers of the nearby Cold Meece munitions factory.  Over the years the site has acted as an Engineering training school for the General Post Office, Post Office Telecoms and latterly British Telecom until they sold the site in 2010.

The history and age of the site and its buildings meant it was necessary for the team to undertake historical research into environmental issues, the planning history and review historic maintenance records.

Having assessed the site’s history and current state of repair the Team was able to report to our client on the ongoing maintenance and capital expenditure liabilities. Our experience with dealing with Dilapidations also enabled our Surveyors to advise on future liabilities having scrupulously reviewed all buildings for any potential defects or deficiencies that could impact on the future performance of the building.

Our pre-acquisition leasehold surveying ensured that our clients were fully informed of what they could expect from the site and property they were seeking to acquire.  Our Team also offered our client extensive advice to assist with their contract negotiations enabling them to mitigate their risk, costs and future liabilities.

The Results

From receipt of this urgent instruction to the submission of the report took the Brasier Freeth Team just five working days.

Following successful contract negotiations, Compass Contract Services Ltd acquired the lease of Yarnfield Park. Brasier Freeth continues to support Compass and its various subsidiaries assisting with acquisitions, lettings and disposals and providing professional advisory services, building surveying and property management.