We provide expert planning, architecture and structural engineering services for land and property owners looking for faster returns on their investment.
Established in 2009, Form Design Group was founded to deliver best-practice advice combined with friendly, personal service – without West End fees.
By integrating expert planning advice and architectural services with the latest 3D and CAD technology, we offer a one-stop-shop for investors, developers and homeowners who want to achieve the best value from their assets as quickly as possible.
We answer the questions that virtually every land or property owner has at the start of a project, providing creative approaches to ensure that even the most challenging projects can reach a successful conclusion.
Our mission is simple: to empower owners of property and land to turn their ideas into profitable investments, through expert local planning advice and innovative design, combined with deep structural engineering knowledge and 3D technology.
We specialise in:
Listed buildings and conservation areas
Planning solutions that complement the local area
Developments with challenges to good design and realising good profits
Mixed use developments
Sustainable design with innovative features such as roof developments.
Mike Chidzey BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA
Mike has practiced as a Chartered Architect in the UK since 1989 and co-founded the company as Form Architecture & Planning with Paul Uttley in 2009.
He began his career in the public sector before moving into private practice with companies including Fitzroy Robinson, Broadway Malyan and PRC Architects, where he ran the London office. He also spent time working in the UAE.
Mike’s love of contemporary design shines through his extensive private and public sector portfolio. Residential, commercial and industrial projects include hotels, mixed-use schemes, retail parks, homes and apartments, car show rooms, recording studios and marinas.
Mike is passionate about creating buildings that don’t just look great, but which fit their intended use and setting: “Our combination of technology and experience makes us a formidable combination for our clients. At Form Design Group, we excel at communicating ideas and can show a client clear visuals that let them see a design in action, which really distinguishes us from non-chartered ‘architect designers’ and plan-drawers.”
Paul Uttley BSc (Hons) DipTP MRTPI
Paul is a Chartered Town Planner with decades of experience in planning from working at senior levels in local government and the private sector. He co-founded Form with Mike Chidzey in 2009.
He has a high success rate of getting clients’ plans accepted first time. This is thanks to his deep understanding of the UK planning system from the public and private sides of the fence, from strategic planning policy through to development proposals.
Paul’s stand-out projects include town centre improvements, regeneration schemes, strategic housing sites and major commercial developments. He has successfully acted for and advised national commercial and residential development companies, as well as private individuals and investors, and is currently involved in a number of major, high-profile developments.
His mission is to make sure property and land owners understand the opportunities their asset can provide: “I offer straightforward advice and take an innovative approach to any planning challenge, but I never recommend ideas that can’t be delivered. At Form Design Group, we provide good advice from the outset, then lead our clients through the planning process so they get the best results.”
Andy Manington I.Eng M ICE
Andy’s background is in civil engineering design. He has worked for large organisations including London Heathrow Airport and within the rail sector.
He joined Form as a co-director in 2015, bringing complementary building design and Structural Engineering skills to the practice.
With a wealth of experience across all sectors of development, Andy successfully delivers quality structural design services for simple and complex projects.
Andy feels that many people are daunted by starting a building design project, whether it’s a simple extension or major new development, and is passionate about helping them understand what’s involved so they have clear expectations from the outset: “Before I start working with a client I explain the whole process from ‘Do I need planning permission?’ through to setting out what will happen before and during construction. It’s all about having an open approach and being absolutely clear about what the client really needs.”
Joao Lopes MArch DiplCons, RIBA
Joao started his career in 2000 while still studying Architecture in Lisbon. After several years spent designing and managing a range of diverse and complex projects in Portugal, he moved to the UK to further develop his long-time passion of working with historic buildings.
He has since gained his Part III Chartered Architect Qualification and joined Form Design Group in 2019. Joao’s dedication to good design and building conservation are clearly visible in each job he delivers, guaranteeing the preservation of the architectural and historical character of a building in every decision and methodology, whilst also ensuring that it meets the needs of its users.
Joao’s knowledge and experience working with Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas in vernacular and high-end residential developments, as well as commercial, large scale governmental and ecclesiastic projects, gives him a particularly in-depth understanding of the planning and technical aspects of dealing with historic buildings.
He believes that every building has something to offer, and beauty can be found in the smallest details: “The more you get to know an old building in particular, the more it reveals its secrets, surprising you with techniques and workmanship that are hard to match nowadays.”