Planning Policy Officer (Neighbourhood)

  • Job Reference: 133753
  • Date Posted: 17 June 2022
  • Recruiter: Easy Web Recruitment
  • Location: Abingdon
  • Salary: £37,891 to £43,191
  • Sector: Government, Politics and Policy
  • Job Type: Full Time Flex
  • Duration: 16 months
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are looking for an ambitious planning policy officer committed to place-making and high quality customer service. If you are ready for a new challenge with opportunities to develop professionally, this could be the role for you.

The successful applicant for this important role will join the councils at an exciting time to help deliver the work of the policy team. The immediate focus will be to support communities which are preparing neighbourhood plans for many of our towns and villages as well as supporting the council’s delivery of a pilot testing a simpler form of neighbourhood planning. This will include advising community groups on correct procedure, ensuring that their plans are aligned with the districts’ current and emerging development plans, and helping to manage the examination and adoption of neighbourhood plans. This post will also contribute to the progression of Local Plan work as required.

Planning Policy Officer Responsibilities:

  • Guide and advise neighbourhood planning groups to ensure that they are following regulations and procedure correctly
  • Ensure that neighbourhood plans being prepared conform with the districts’ existing and emerging local plans
  • Assist the community groups preparing neighbourhood plans by offering accurate and clear guidance and advice on their emerging plan policies
  • Attend meetings with community groups, councillors and consultants (including evening and weekend meetings when necessary)
  • Prepare neighbourhood planning documents and reports for colleagues and councillors as required
  • Prepare the council’s formal response to draft Neighbourhood Plans
  • Manage the district councils’ formal public consultation, examination and referendum responsibilities for neighbourhood plans, including acting as programme officer for neighbourhood plan examinations if required
  • Provide professional advice and training on neighbourhood plans, planning policy and development matters to the public, Members and other professionals
  • Assist in the supervision of the work of junior planning or technical officers
  • Assist in other aspects of the team’s work, in particular Local Plan preparation, as required
  • Support development management colleagues in interpreting local and neighbourhood plan policies for determining planning applications
  • Assist in monitoring planning policies.

Your essential skills, knowledge and experience

  • Minimum of 2 years experience of working in a planning office including experience of preparing planning policy documents
  • Good IT experience in Windows environment and good keyboard skills
  • Experience of working within a customer focused environment dealing with the public
  • Good, accurate written communication skills
  • Good oral skills and experience in giving clear, succinct and well argued presentations - formally and informally
  • Confident working with maps and plans
  • An excellent knowledge of planning legislation and guidance, and the ability to interpret these for non-planners
  • Ability and willingness to take individual responsibility for work and set priorities to meet agreed standards
  • Ability to work as a team member and contribute to the team
  • Ability to work corporately
  • Diplomatic, tactful and able to maintain discretion in difficult circumstances
  • Able to manage projects

Your essential qualifications

  • A Degree or Diploma in Town Planning, or a related discipline, or equivalent level of experience
  • Full/licentiate membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Hold a full and current driving licence
  • Have the use of a car insured for business purposes (you will need to be able to get to and from villages across the district)

If you have the following experience or qualifications – it’s a bonus

  • Previous experience of preparing or assisting preparation of neighbourhood plans
  • Experience of carrying out Sustainability Appraisals and/or SEAs for development plans
  • Additional education in a related discipline

About us:

Our vision and values are important to the councils and we expect you to support them and embed them in the way we work.

We are seen as being customer-focussed, approachable and business-like. We are honest and open and are renowned for providing high quality cost effective services.

The benefits we offer:

  • A basic 24 days annual leave per annum, rising to 29 days after five years. You also have all the bank holidays to look forward to and time off between Christmas and New Year.
  • Flexible working and annualised hours – a flexible approach to work that our employees love!
  • Salary pay awards – most jobs give scope for a pay increase after six months or the following April (depending on your start date) and we also review salaries each April.
  • A generous career average pension scheme which includes life insurance of three times your salary
  • The opportunity to purchase a bike through Cyclescheme (cheaper than directly through a store) so that you can cycle to work!
  • A salary sacrifice car lease scheme – a fully inclusive driving package for a fixed monthly cost
  • Various schemes to keep you healthy (reduced gym membership, free swims, contributory medical schemes, wellbeing appointments, free eye tests for DSE users, after work sports clubs and more)
  • We give you two days per year to volunteer within the local community.

Location: Abingdon / Hybrid Working
Contract Type: Fixed Term, 16 months
Hours: Full Time, 37 per week
Salary: £37,891 - £43,191 per year

Closing Date: 08 July 2022

You may have experience of the following: Planning Officer, Local Authority, Policy, Town Planning, Council, Planner, Project Management, Planning Policy Officer, Town Planner, Legislation, RTPI, Neighbourhood Development, etc.

Ref: 133 753