Terms and Conditions

Conditions of business

The Conditions of Business for our appointment to the Project are set out below and represent the basis upon which Hertford Planning Service agree to work on the Project. In the absence of any mutually acceptable and written variation of these Conditions of Business shall apply to the project. Please read these carefully and if you have any queries, please raise them with us as soon as possible.


1. Definitions

In this agreement:

(a) “this agreement” shall mean these Conditions of Business and any mutually agreed variations thereof, the covering letter of proposal and all associated documents referred to therein.

(b) “force majeure” shall include all conditions beyond the reasonable control of us and any postponement of the services by you.

(c) “the services” shall mean the consulting services provided by Hertford Planning Service to the client and as set out in the covering letter.

(d) “written” shall include any communication or transmission by letter, facsimile or via e-mail.

(e) The “client” is the person, company, authority or other body who instructs Hertford Planning Service to carry out the works. The contract is between the client and Hertford Planning Service.

(f) The “client” shall mean the addressee detailed on the attached covering letter

(g) The “company” shall mean Hertford Planning Service and equally apply to Trading names ‘HPS'


2. Fees

Our fee structure is dependent on the nature and manner of the project. Our charges will either be a fixed fee rate or calculated at an hourly rate.

2.1 The hourly rate charged is dependent upon the nature of the work and on the seniority of the person dealing with the project. You will be advised of the relevant rates on request and will be given an estimate of the likely time and fees

involved based on information you have supplied. You will be advised as soon as possible if it subsequently becomes apparent that the time estimate and/or fees are to be exceeded. Hourly rates may be reviewed from time to time, but you will be advised of any change.

2.2 Fixed Fee – A fixed fee for work to be undertaken may be negotiated on certain projects. However, we reserve the right to re-negotiate our fees in the event that the project becomes more complex or larger than originally estimated.

2.3 All fee estimates remain valid for a period of 90 days from the date of the estimate.


3. Disbursements

3.1 Additional charges are levied in respect of disbursements which will be identified and agreed with the client where possible. VAT will be charged where applicable at the current rate.


4. Terms of Payment

4.1 Accounts will be submitted in arrears generally on a monthly basis, once scheme designs have been issued to clients. VAT will be charged on all fees, and disbursements where appropriate, at the current rate.

4.2 Payment of accounts is due strictly 30 days from the date of the invoice.

4.3 We reserve the right to levy an interest charge at 2% per month on overdue accounts.

4.4 In the event that any account remains outstanding after 30 days from the date of the invoice then Hertford Planning Service reserve the right to cease further works on the project until such time as all outstanding invoices and VAT thereon have been paid in full.

4.5 Further and without prejudice to the generality of the paragraph above Hertford Planning Service also reserve the right to retain such documents and papers and other information provided to it for the purpose of fulfilling the Project unless all invoices are settled in full.

4.6 Hertford Planning Service also reserve the right to pass all unpaid debts to a debt collection service should payment not be made within 30 days from the date of invoice.

4.7 Should the Company incur any costs in recovering any overdue payment from the Client (including tracing costs, debt collection costs, expert costs, asset investigation costs and full legal costs for the issue or defending of legal proceedings covering but not exclusive to drafting, advice, advocacy, counsel and trial  preparation), the Client shall pay those costs in full. Sums payable in accordance with this clause shall become due without need for further proof, when either legal representation is called upon or the claim is referred for debt collection.


5. Confirmation of Appointment

5.1 The client shall confirm by way of an email or letter, acceptance of our estimate and of these conditions of Business, along with details of the company or person responsible for payment of invoicing, including an address and contact details. Although desirable, this is not essential for the commencement of the project. It is agreed by both parties that in the event that work is started with us not having received the signed copy of the cover letter, your acceptance shall be deemed to have been given.

5.2 The client confirms that it is entering into this Agreement Wholly on its own behalf and not on behalf of or for the benefit of any other party and agrees that in the event of any claim for breach of contract arising out of or in connection with this Agreement it shall be entitled to recover from the company only the losses, if any, it has suffered.


6. Intellectual Property

6.1 the copyright and other intellectual property rights in all media (including all designs, drawings, reports, models, specifications, bills of quantities, calculations and any such other documents) (the “works”) prepared or complied by us on your behalf shall remain vested in Hertford Planning Service, which hereby grants to you an irrevocable royalty- free licence to use the works for the purpose(s) (excluding AutoCAD formatted files),  for which they were prepared or compiled for you. This licence is not assignable.

6.2 Should the Client request Hertford Planning Service to assign reports (or the like), prepared by the Company on the Client’s behalf, to site purchasers or third parties the following will apply. Such report, or the like, has been prepared for the development and purpose stated in it and the Company shall be liable only for the use of such reports for the purpose for which they were prepared.


7. Restriction on Liability

7.1 We shall exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence in the provision of the Services and shall only be liable for any negligent failure so to provide.

7.2 We shall have no liability for any failure or delay in the provision of the services or any part thereof resulting from force majeure, and you shall continue to pay us in accordance with this agreement during the persistence of force majeure.

7.3 The liability of the Company for any claim or claims arising out of or in connection with pollution and\or contamination and\or asbestos and\or toxic mould are excluded.

7.4 The period of the Company’s liability is from the effective date hereof to six years after this date.

7.5 The amount of Professional Indemnity Insurance to be carried by the Company for each claim or series of claims arising from the same original cause shall not exceed £3,000,000.

7.6 The period for which Professional Indemnity Insurance is to be maintained is from the effective date hereof to six years after this date provided such cover is available at reasonable commercial rates and terms.

7.7 The Company’s liability for any claim or claims shall be further limited to such sum as it would be just and equitable for the Company to pay having regard to the extent of its responsibility for the loss or damage suffered as a result of each claim or the series of claims in question ("the loss and damage") and on the assumption that:

  1. i) all consultants and all contractors shall have provided contractual undertakings on terms no less onerous than those applying to the Company in respect of the carrying out of their obligations, and
  2. ii) there are no exclusions of or limitations of liability nor joint insurance or co-insurance provisions between the Client and any other party referred to in this clause and any other party who is responsible to any extent for the loss and damage is contractually liable to the Client for the loss and damage, and

iii) all consultants and all contractors have paid, or agreed to pay, to the Client such proportion of the loss and damage which it would be just and equitable for them to pay having regard to the extent of their responsibility for “the loss and damage."


8. Suspension and Termination

8.1 Either party may give 14 days’ written notice of termination to the other party in the event of:

(a) A breach by the other party which has not begun to be rectified within 14 days of written notice thereof or.

(b) The persistence of force majeure for 60 days or more

8.2 Payment to us in the event of termination as aforesaid shall comprise:

(a) payments due for such of the services carried out up to and including the date of termination, including disbursements.

(b) Payments due subsequent to clause 7.2 above.

(c) The costs of repatriation (if any) and of any commitments entered into by us on the assumption that this Agreement would run its full course.


9. Disputes and Differences

9.1 The parties shall attempt in good faith to settle any dispute by arbitration.

9.2 in the event of matters requiring adjudication, when this agreement is a construction contract within the meaning of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, either party may refer any dispute arising under this Agreement to adjudication in accordance with the Construction Industry Council Model Adjudication Procedure.

9.3 All costs, other than legal costs associated with the process, shall be borne in equal share by the Company and Client.

9.4 In the event that it becomes necessary to institute legal proceedings for recovery of professional fees due, all balances outstanding as well as any un-invoiced fees due in respect Work in Progress, will become immediately due and payable.

9.5 If it becomes necessary to institute legal proceedings for recovery of all or any sums due under this Agreement, the Client shall be liable for all legal costs incurred by the Company.


10. Law

10.1 The construction validity and performance of this Agreement shall be governed by and constructed under the laws of England and for all matters arising under out of or in connection with this Agreement the parties shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.


11. Planning and Building Regulation Approval

11.1 It is always recommended that building works are NOT commenced on site until planning and building regulation approvals have been granted (including the discharge of planning conditions). Any works started prior to all approvals being granted, including those which may require you or your contractor to apply for, are undertaken at the property/site owner’s risk.


12. Client Responsibilities 

12.1 It is for the client, on advice, to appoint consultants, specialist contractors or subcontractors and suppliers, and ensure they are indemnified. HPS is not responsible for the quality of the work and performance of these consultants, specialist contractors or subcontractors and suppliers, or payment of their fees unless otherwise agreed in writing.


13. Time Over-runs

13.1 HPS is not responsible for managing the builder’s programme of works, nor for organising the work on site – responsibility rests with the builder/contractor, including the responsibility to notify expected problems. HPS is however in a position to advise the client on the circumstances and if those are reasonable may, on the client’s behalf and if acting as contract administrator, award extensions of time. Such work which is beyond the architect’s control may result in additional fees.


14. Statutory Approvals and Contract Administration

14.1 Planning permission and Building Regulations approval

HPS cannot guarantee that planning permission and/or Building Regulations approval will be granted because these decisions rest with the local authority. When engaged to submit an application, HPS will consider any local authority guidelines and statutory requirements, so it has the best chance of success. Sometimes exemptions to guidelines and similar provisions will have to be negotiated to achieve the best design solution for the project. The client will generally be responsible for providing the architect with accurate information about site boundaries, access and ownership rights.

14.2 Planning permission – for the design:

 14.3 Building Regulations Approval – permission to build 

 15. Other Consultants

HPS is not responsible for the work undertaken by any other consultant (such as a structural engineer) engaged on the project. Other consultants will usually be engaged directly by the client and fees should be paid directly to them. HPS may agree to engage consultants on the client’s behalf. In this arrangement the other consultants are sub-consultants of the HPS and responsible to them rather than the client direct. They are paid by the HPS, whose fees will reflect this.

16. Ownership, Restrictive Covenants and Public Sewers/Drains

Prior to engaging any design services, please ensure that you are in possession of the full facts in terms of ownership of your property and or site, including any restrictive covenants and the position of any public sewers or drains which cross or pass close to your property/site. Please check your deeds as necessary; we are guided by your instruction with respect to the ownership of your property.

17. Fire Safety Exclusion

Hertford Planning Service shall not be liable in respect of any claim, circumstance, loss, damage, liability and/or defence Costs and expenses based on, arising out of or in any way connected to:

Fire Safety, or directly or indirectly arising out of: 

  1. the combustibility, fire safety requirements or fire protection performance of any façade materials, roof materials, cladding, core, filler, composite, insulation, glazing, balconies, terraces, doors, hatches, signage, decorative panels, roof voids, roof cavities, chimneys, flues, external wall system and/or internal wall system of any building or structure, external roof system and/or internal roof system above the ceiling level of the upper-most storey of any building or structure, including but not limited to any component or material used for the external cladding or façades or roofs of any building or structure, insulation, and signage, and the manufacture, assembly, fixing or construction thereof;
  2. any aspect of fire safety or fire performance of a building or structure; including but not limited to warning of fire, escape from the building or structure in the event of fire, fire spread, structural integrity, the provision of access and facilities to the emergency services and/or the provision of premises not fit for habitation.
  3. any aspect of fire safety or fire performance of a building or structure not falling within 1. or 2. above.