Obituary: David Heap, Chartered surveyor

David Heap, who died this week, was a chartered surveyor who became one of the most recognisable faces in Yorkshire’s commercial property community.

David Heap

Born in 1954 in Bradford, he was a partner with Walker Singleton for more than 35 years, having earlier worked for Calderdale Council, Henry Spencer and R Stewart Newiss. He joined Walker Singleton in 1982 and became a partner two years later.

Over the succeeding decades he was central to its growth, not just by creating a thriving commercial property department recognised by its clients and peers but also spearheading development at the region’s biggest independently owned practice of its kind.

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He was made a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for his work within the charitable arm of the organisation, and was a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Fellow and founding member of the Association of Property and Fixed Charge Receivers, and a member of the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation.

He acted as professional mentor to many, and there are surveyors across the UK and beyond who valued his wisdom and honest pragmatism.

His passion and unrivalled property knowledge led to him working closely with authorities and groups to save the heritage sites of the Square Chapel and the Piece Hall in Halifax. He also maintained relationships with the business saviours of mill complexes at Dean Clough and Salts, Saltaire.

He acted over a long period as lead advisor for Tesco on its acquisitions and disposals in the region, and provided advice and property-based leadership to the Government asset realisation team formed at the time of the financial collapse formed to resolve lending issues at the former Bradford and Bingley and Northern Rock building societies.

Outside work and family life, he had an enduring passion for motorsport in general and Ferraris in particular.