Owned and managed by Joe Beggan – a consulting engineer with a quarter of a century’s experience in building design, planning, project management and supervision – Encore Consulting is a multi-disciplinary practice based in Clones, County Monaghan. We touched base with Joe to discuss some of the services provided to agri clients.
Specialising in a full range of domestic, agricultural and commercial buildings, Encore Consulting offers professional, friendly and cost-effective design, planning and project management services to farmers and landowners on both sides of the border.
Access is also provided to additional services such as fire safety certificate preparation, CAD detailing, dwelling and site surveying, soil testing 3D modelling and preparing site Health & Safety plans. Encore Consulting has a proven track record working on agri structures such as large poultry units, slatted sheds and ancillary farm buildings as well as overseeing planning and design on domestic extensions.
Founder Joe Beggan and his team also arrange Certificates of Compliance (required by banks, lending institutes and legal professionals in order to confirm that the works comply with the appropriate planning and building regulations), pre-purchase home surveys, declarations of identity and land registry maps.
“I set the business up three or four years ago but have been in this line of work for more than 25 years,” reveals Joe,” reflecting on the genesis of Encore Consulting. “I worked for various local practices in the early years but found that more and more people were coming to me directly so I decided to set up on my own.”
Joe has a long-running association with the agri community, having drawn his first poultry unit by hand over twenty years ago. He estimates that agricultural buildings currently account for up to 40% of his overall work.
“Agri has been a big part of it from the very beginning and you are right in the middle of it here in Clones,” he states. “We benefit from a lot of repeat business and referrals. It’s a close-knit community and people are happy to recommend you if you provide a good service.
“We work for a lot of local farmers, both north and south of the border, on buildings such as slatted sheds and cubicle houses and a lot of poultry units, from site appraisal and planning applications right through to project management and supervision and certification.”
Monaghan is of course synonymous with poultry and this is an area in which Encore Consulting does a large volume of work, incorporating neighbouring counties Fermanagh and Cavan as well as Longford. “There’s still an appetite for granting licences in Monaghan once the litter is controlled,” Joe notes.
“Poultry has become very diverse and within that you now have free-range hens, free-range organic and of course free-range broilers, with new legislation coming in in 2023 where farmers will have to move away completely from caged houses into barn-style houses or free-range. There’s going to be a two-year phasing in period for that and it will be mandatory from 2025. From then onwards, in the interest of animal welfare, there will be no more caged or battery hens in Ireland.”
Encore prepares reports for farmers who want to apply for TAMS II grants in order to upgrade their existing poultry houses, although the dynamic and progressive nature of farming today is such that farmers no longer depend fully on grants when they want to erect new buildings.
“A lot of farmers with young sons coming through are getting advice from Teagasc and Ballyhaise [Agricultural College] up the road that they have to either move or stagnate. This is why many of them are bringing in new ideas, investing and diversifying.
“If you provide a good service, domestic – and sometimes commercial – work can tie in with the agri work. Say, for example, where a son is putting up a domestic dwelling on the family farm. There are also a lot of new technologies in heating and ventilation of buildings, which we can advise on.”
Encore Consulting is on hand from start to finish on the building project concerned to make sure that everything runs as smoothly and cost-efficiently as possible. It’s a vital and practical partnership which can provide great savings and peace of mind to farmers, where buildings are generally costing in the region of €450,000 to €500,000.
“We provide a complete, one-stop service,” Joe confirms. “From site selection to compliance with regulations (planning and environmental); design of the unit, which includes liaising with both the builder and the farmer; drawing up of costings and a business plan; to site supervision and valuations. We also look after interim certificates for payments to banks and final certification on the building to confirm a clean bill of health – compliance with planning and building regulations.”
Joe is pleased to confirm that, despite the difficulties that the economy has gone through in recent times, he is busy at present with growing demand for Encore’s professional, value-for-money services: “There’s a lot of work in the compliance and regulatory side of it these days. Regulation has become a big thing and there’s a lot of compliance reports to be done on existing properties and structures, etc.”
The Monaghan man enlists the help of his colleagues during particularly busy times. “My son, Darragh, who is an architect based in Dublin, is also considering returning home to join me in the business, so hopefully the two of us will be working together soon.”
Another son, Conal, has been keenly interested in poultry all his life, from a very young age. “He works as farm manager at a poultry processing unit and is planning on diversifying into broilers and putting up his own unit soon,” Joe concludes. “My brother-in-law has been in poultry all his life, too, so it’s certainly something that’s very close to my heart.”
Tel: 047 51847
Mobile: 087 2924047
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 7, November 2018