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Job Title: Principal / Senior Planning Officer (DM - Multiple Roles)

Somerset Council

£39,186 to £50,000

Contract Type:
Full time

Taunton, South West

Job Level:
Principal / Senior Planning Officer (DM - Multiple Roles)


Closing Date:
30 June 2024

Town Planning

Public Sector

Development Management


Principal / Senior Planning Officer (Development Management - Multiple Roles)
£39,186 to £50,000 per annum (the Principal Planning Officer salary includes a remuneration package of £3,536 per annum for up to 3 years)
Full Time
Location: Somerset
Closing date: 30 June 2024

Some key information

We are looking for experienced planners to join the second largest Unitary Authority in the UK. If you are a Planning Officer looking to take the next step to a Senior role, an experienced Senior Officer looking for more variety or looking to develop into a Principal Officer with potential for managing a small team or an experienced Principal looking to find a more varied and exciting opportunity we have some roles for you.

The Senior Planning Officer role is Grade 9 (£39,186 to £43,421 per annum).
The Salary for the Principal Planning Officer role is Grade 8, (£50,000 per annum which includes a remuneration package of £3,536 per annum for up to 3 years).

This role offers hybrid working, allowing you to work either from home or from one of our offices
30 days annual leave for the Senior Planning Officer / 33 days annual leave for the Principal Planning Officer
Development opportunities available

What will I be doing?

Currently we have a number of Development Management Planning roles which could bring you variety, the satisfaction of seeing delivery and engaging with the local community, stakeholders, members working to achieve the best outcome for all.
Within Somerset we have a huge breadth of work, and plenty of interesting projects.
These currently include:
Local Development Orders
Development Consent Orders
Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects
Major residential and Commercial developments
Our Emerging Local Plan

We also have a successful history of gaining Levelling Up and Homes England funding - which means there will be a range of new projects to work on in the coming years as we deliver key community facilities, infrastructure and public realm improvements.

All this means that you’ll have the chance to develop your experience and skills with us, the range of which will be difficult to match elsewhere.

We’re in the early stages of shaping our service as a new authority and we’re not sitting still. If you relish opportunities to inform, influence and improve you could be a key part of the evolution of a large planning service.

You will need to be in the office 1-2 days per week, for Committee (once a month) and for site visits with the option for homeworking for the rest of the week.

Day to day, as a Senior Planning Officer you would be assessing and determining a range of minor/major planning applications including change of use, residential and commercial development working pro-actively, negotiating to ensure the highest quality outcome. You would be working within one of the small area teams within Somerset, supported by other Seniors and Principals, and engage with the public and elected members.

As a Principal Officer you would be assessing and determining a range of major applications from Residential, Commercial, Allocated sites and the opportunity to manage Planning Performance Agreements on strategic sites to provide for the 18,000 homes allocated in the Local Plan. As Principal Officer you would also manage a small team of Planners and Senior Planners (3-5 people) providing support through one to ones and team meetings.

What kind of experience or qualifications do I need?

For the Senior role you’ll need to be a Qualified Planner, with experience of determining and negotiating on complex caseloads within a Local Authority environment. You would need to be or be eligible to become a Chartered Planner and if you are not already Chartered this will be encouraged for your development once in the role.

For the Principal role, it would be ideal if you had some management experience but if you’re a Senior Planner and feel ready to step up, we’ll support and help develop you into the Principal role.

We’re proud to be here for the people of Somerset. And that means everyone in Somerset. An important part of this is ensuring that we are as diverse and inclusive as the people and communities we serve.
We welcome applications from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences to enrich our team. You can always contact the hiring manager for a chat if there’s anything you want to talk about before you apply.

What's in it for me?

We are proud to offer an environment that is supportive and rewarding, working as part of a team who are passionate about the work they do to improve the lives of people in Somerset and protect and enhance the area.

We offer great training and development opportunities, with supportive management and the opportunity for a wealth of CPD and peer support with a significant number of planners in the wider Authority.

Somerset is also an amazing place to live and work with areas of coast, national landscapes, Exmoor, mixture of economic hubs, regeneration areas, small market towns, historic towns and rural landscapes, large infrastructure projects, new railway station being proposed at Wellington, 3 motorway junctions to the M5 enabling great accessibility.

Of course, we're also the home to Glastonbury Festival, Bridgwater Carnival, Gravity, Hinkley, Taunton Garden Town, and the RTPI award-winning The Newt estate. It's safe to say that there's a lot going on here!

Somerset can be easily reached by car or public transport with railway connections to Exeter, Bristol and London.

We also have some fantastic employee benefits available including the below:

We promote a healthy work-life balance and offer flexible working arrangements wherever possible, including working from home.
Generous annual leave allowance, with the opportunity to purchase additional leave.
Staff discounts in gyms.
Employee Assistance for the times you may need some support and a variety of employee wellbeing services.
Auto enrolment onto our generous Pension Scheme and optional pension enhancement through our Additional Voluntary Contribution scheme.
A Flexible Benefits Scheme via salary sacrifice to obtain a bicycle for work and access to health screenings.
My Staff Shop offering discounts in shops, online shopping, restaurants, cinema tickets, insurance benefits and more…

Anything else I should know?

For an informal chat about the role, you can contact Dawn DeVries via email at [email protected]
When completing your application/CV please provide your full employment history and ensure that any gaps in employment are explained. Please start with your current or most recent employment.
If you have everything you need, just hit the apply button. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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