About

MJS Planning & Design are a Devon based Architectural Practise who specialise in innovative and sustainable residential design. Drawing on experience in Town Planning & Architecture MJS provide a friendly, affordable, client focused service with a proven track record of planning success.

As a practice, we ensure that our core values of Communication, Accuracy and Timeliness are at the heart of each project. We also strongly believe that architecture is not an exercise in imposition; if you as our client wish for something really unusual then that is fine by us – we will develop this to work with the architectural language of the design.

Our projects range in scale from single story extensions to multiple unit developments and are located throughout the United Kingdom. MJS are well versed in dealing with challenging sites having worked extensively with Listed Buildings Applications, in Conservation Areas, on topographically challenging sites and in close proximity to the sea and rivers.

The MJS ethos is to focus on you as the client, creatively yet pragmatically guiding your ideas and wish-lists for your project into a design that respects the constraints of planning, context and topography, ultimately is a project you can truly be proud of.

The Team

Matt Slader – Managing Director

Matt was born in Somerset, but moved to Teignmouth in his childhood and is very much a true local, devoting himself to local life. In his school years he worked on local fishing boats and was a ferryman between Shaldon and Teignmouth.

He worked for T&S Stores PLC and Shell UK in management and customer service training roles for a time, and also undertook his first foray into the architectural sector by designing and project managing the conversion of a large Victorian property, before joining Teignbridge District Council Planning Department in 2003. Initially this was a role working to centralise public access and interaction with the planning department, before becoming a Planning Enforcement Officer.

This position gave Matt great insight into how planning works and an appreciation of the intricacies of Permitted Development legislation. It also illustrated the pitfalls of poor design and planning; inaccuracies within drawings, poorly thought out plans, low quality building and ignorance of planning rules were all too common. This immersion gave Matt a thirst to simply do a better job than what he was too commonly seeing.

Initially Matt started out to develop his own property, undertaking survey and design work that really maximised and optimised the build without the requirement of planning permission. After undertaking the building work, the project was a success and sold quickly.

From there he undertook relevant qualifications to give him the skills to set up his own practise offering quality design, planning advice, excellent customer service and clear pricing. Thus MJS Planning and Design was born in 2008.

In addition to his Managing Director responsibilities, Matt is a lead designer, principal planning consultant, and also Sales partner for Hanse Haus GmbH covering the whole of the south west and the North of the UK.

Matt also has significant roles in life beyond work. He has spent the majority of his life serving on the Teignmouth RNLI crew, and for many years has managed the shorecrew – making sure that the lifeboat gets into the water quickly and that everything is maintained for smooth operation. He loves walking, kayaking and anything to do with the water. Beyond anything he loves spending time with his family and friends.

Adam James – Associate Director

Adam has recently joined the team at MJS as our Associate Director. He was born and grew up in South West Scotland and studied at Edinburgh University gaining his Degree in Architecture.

Adam began his working career in architecture as a Trainee in a design firm in North East Scotland and within 6 years was Associate Director in charge of the head office. During this time he gathered a wealth of experience of all the management aspects for projects and staff and dealt with many different types and size of projects (varying from domestic extensions and new builds to commercial offices and industrial factories).

As well as being responsible for the day to day management of the projects in the office, Adam will oversee the more technical aspects of design and building regulations work within the office as well as working alongside Matt on planning projects.

In his spare time Adam is a keen archer and loves being outdoors with his family and pet dog at the weekends. Even in his spare time Adam can’t help but design; he has been designing a board/card game for the last year! He is also an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy books.

Anne McLarnon – Office Manager

Anne grew up in Exmouth, Devon after moving at an early age from Nottingham. After leaving school she went on to do a Higher National Diploma in Legal Studies in Wales. Following that she worked at various solicitors practices whilst also gaining her Graduate Membership as a Legal Executive with ILEX (Institute of Legal Executives) in 2004. After ten years working in Conveyancing she felt a career change was in order and joined MJS Planning & Design Ltd as our Office Manager.

Her principle roles in the office involve managing the day to day running of the office, accounts and administration. She will generally be the first person you will see in the office, and the first person you will speak to on the phone. She excels at keeping everything running smoothly and in an orderly manner.

Anne has lived in Teignmouth since 2002 and thoroughly enjoys family life in this neck of the woods. They are often found rambling up on Dartmoor or cycling with them along the nearby Forest routes.

Mattia Depetris

Mattia is our resident Italian. He was born in Turin and grew up in Pinerolo, in Piedmont, in Northwestern Italy. In 2012, after ending high school for surveyors, he won a competition in Italy that allowed him to go abroad for three months, and with this opportunity he came to work with us at MJS as an intern. After that experience, he decided to focus his energies on architecture and he started his University career in the “Politecnico di Torino”, where he completed his study with a Master degree in Architecture in September 2017.

During his studies he had the opportunity to travel all over the World with the aim to understand how Architecture works abroad and how is perceived. In 2014 he spent one month in India to design and build a kindergarten in Ranchi, a City close to Kolkata, with an Italian non-profit organization. Two years later he went to Krakow, in Poland, for an academic semester with the “Erasmus Program” in the Politechnika Krakowska. In 2017 he travelled to Hong Kong, where he wrote his Master Thesis in collaboration with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, about the development of the City of Shenzhen and its related issues.

At the end of his studies he asked to return to MJS in order to learn all the practical issues related to architectural practice and joined MJS in January 2018.

In his free time Mattia likes to practise sports and any kind of outdoor activities. He also enjoys cinema, photography and as a good Italian he loves to cook.

Sophie Mcilwaine – Architectural Assistant

Sophie grew up in the South of France and moved to Devon aged 10. She studied Architecture at Cambridge University, and moved to London after graduating to work for Richard Griffiths Architects, specialising in historic buildings such as St Albans Cathedral and Hawksmoor’s St Alfege Church. After gaining experience in contemporary projects at Dow Jones Architects, Sophie returned to Shaldon to enjoy the countryside and sea air alongside her studies in Architectural History.

Sophie works part-time at MJS, assisting all members of the office with CAD and hand-drawn visualisations. She also works as a heritage volunteer at Sharpham House, and is particularly interested in the repair and adaptation of historic buildings. She plans to study for a Master’s in Building History next year alongside her architectural work.

In her spare time, Sophie loves sketching buildings and landscapes, walking, yoga and baking occasional cakes for the office.

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