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Welcome to Shear Ltd

We are a small flexible Structural Engineering Company based in Rossendale with over 20 years experience designing a wide spectrum of building structures predominantly in the North West.

Whether it's a new steel beam to a kitchen extension or a new power plant, we are able to provide a professional, efficient and competitive service to a variety of clients such as home owners, builders, developers, architects and surveyors.

We produce structural calculations and supporting drawings, professionally prepared by qualified experienced Engineers and Draughtsman for submission to the local authority for Building Regulation Approval.



Substructure/ Foundation Design

Superstructure Design

Steelwork Element Design

Reinforced Concrete Element Design

Timber Element Design

Masonry Element Design

Computer Aided Design & Draughting

Residential Planning Application & Drawings

Reinforcement Bar Scheduling

Structural Investigations/ Reporting

Site Investigations

Structural Calculation Appraisal


Institute of Structual Engineers

Home Owners


Building a House Extension?

With bank savings rates virtually earning zero interest, a number of

homeowners are choosing to extend their existing property in order to

add value to their home or simply because they need the additional space.

Although the cost of building an extension can be significant, it is a proven

way to add value to your home and will serve those looking to move away

in a few years time just as well as those who are setting up for the future.

As with any major project, there are a lot of factors that need to be

carefully considered before any work on an extension can be undertaken.

Planning permission

For most people extending a property, planning permission will be

necessary before any work can be undertaken. Planning seeks to control

the way that neighbourhoods, towns and cities are developed, focusing

on the way that land is used, the appearance of buildings, landscaping

considerations, road access and the impact that a development

will have on the environment. For more information regarding planning

permission, planning application fee's and whether your development

needs it or not visit the Government's Planning Portal website and/ or

your local authorities website.

Once the council has received planning drawings, it will place them on the

Planning Register for public viewing and notify neighbours of your

intentions. A committee appointed by the local council will then make a

decision or appoint a senior planning officer to make one for them. The

process can take up to eight weeks, and if permission is granted, planned

works must be completed within five years.

During the planning application process, neighbours will be able to air any

views in writing regarding the proposed extension, so it is a good idea to

ensure that the extension will blend in with the other properties on the

street. Getting neighbours involved during the initial stages of design

could save a lot of time and money later on down the line if they

do have any objections or concerns. Even if you are legally entitled to

make changes that they oppose, it could be better to compromise than

make potentially life-long enemies.

If permission is denied, plans can be amended to take into account any

problems raised by the council and then resubmitted within 12 months

without any further charge. Appeals can be lodged within three months of

the council's decision. Those who fail to apply for planning permission

before building an extension may face heavy fines and be required by law

to demolish any new building work undertaken.


Building Regulations

In most cases, it will be necessary when extending a building to ensure

that everything done complies with the Government's Building Regulations.

Unless the planned extension is a porch, conservatory or detached garage

built at ground level, taking up less than 30m2 of floor space, it's likely that

Building Regulations will be relevant and approval required.


These apply to any building work in England and Wales, and set minimum

standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure that they

comply with health and safety rules. They also include certain requirements

involving fuel and power conservation, and ensure that access and

facilities are provided for people with disabilities in public buildings.


Building Regulations approval is a separate process from obtaining

planning permission for your extension and it is extremely important to

ensure that your extension is approved in both regards by law. Without it,

you will not be able to sell the property. To achieve compliance with

Building Regulations, you must submit full and detailed plans of the

proposed extension, together with the appropriate application form and

fee, to your Local Planning Authority.


A reputable builder should be able to help you in ensuring that your

extension meets all the Building Regulations that may apply to the work,

and in making sure that any inspections required are completed and work

meets the construction and performance standards set by the regulations.


Building control officers will examine the plans to guarantee that they are

in accordance with current Building Regulations and will approve the

project. Your builders are required to notify the council when building work

commences and at various stages throughout the project, and inspections

will be made to ensure that work, such as the laying of foundations, damp

proofing and installing drains is carried out to standard. A final inspection

will be made upon completion of the extension, and a certificate of

completion will be issued if everything complies.


Information about how Building Regulations might apply to different types

of extensions can be found through the Government's Planning Portal or

via your Local Planning Authority.


We will prepare and submit both planning and Building Regulation

drawings for all types of residential developments such as extensions,

loft conversions, conservatories and sunrooms.


What Do I Need a Structural Engineer For?

A structural engineer’s role is to ensure that any built structure is safe and

will work (in other words, not fall down/warp/sink) within the environment.

When you are undertaking home improvement projects, such as building

an extension or converting a loft, you might be looking at employing a

chartered or incorporated structural engineer. These have the requisite

professional skills and qualifications to make sure they know what they are

doing when they are advising you on the safe removal of that chimney

breast so that the house doesn’t collapse now or in five years’ time for

example. Similarly, no Architect, Surveyor or Builder is qualified to specify a

structural steelwork beam size for a new opening through a load-bearing


You can search for individual Structural Engineers of all grades through the

Institution of Structural Engineers website. If you need to verify an

individual’s membership of the institution please click here.

You will need a structural engineer on any project that involves removing

load-bearing walls or chimney stacks, cutting timbers out of a roof

structure, widening doorways or windows, digging basements or lowering

floors, or building on soft or contaminated ground, or near large trees.

Basically, any job where you need a specialist to assess whether a new

structure will be safe, or whether an alteration will affect the safety of the

existing building. Your builder or architect should have a good idea

whether you need to call on a structural engineer. If in doubt we’ll be

happy to assist any queries or ask your local Building Control officer for

impartial advice.