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Spatial Planning & Development Officer Manager / Full time

Active Travel England

£38,654 - £42,521

York, Yorkshire & Humberside



Location: Leeds, York

About the job


We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.  

Would you describe yourself as highly organised and motivated? 

Do you have experience of managing the workloads of others, including effective prioritisation to manage resource pressures?

If so, we would love to hear from you!

Job description

There has never been a more exciting time to be working in active travel, and Active Travel England is at the forefront of this high-profile agenda. Active Travel England will help deliver the Government’s ambitious vision for half of all journeys in England’s towns and cities to be walked, cycled or wheeled by 2030. Joining Active Travel England now represents a genuine opportunity to shape transport policy in a time when other wider considerations like transport decarbonisation and improving public health are central government priorities.

One of the core functions of Active Travel England is going to be its role in the spatial planning system, namely as a statutory consultee for development management via the Town and Country Planning Act (Development Management Procedure) Order 2015. The Office Manager will lead a planning administration team that provides crucial back-office support to the Spatial Planning and Development Division processing upwards of 8000 planning applications a year and overseeing reporting and information management processes. The Planning Administration Team will also be expected to work closely with other critical back-office functions, like the Active Travel England Programme Management Office, to align the work of the Spatial Planning and Development Division with the work of the rest of the organisation.

Leading of team of 2x HEOs and 1x EO, the Office Manager will be responsible for establishing and implementing new administration processes that will allow the Spatial Planning and Development Division to receive, log, assess and provide recommendations on planning applications within the statutory deadline. They will also be the Local Information Manager for the Division, keeping a record of all activities and making sure that the team is able to meet any further statutory duties under DPMO or other legislation like the Freedom of Information Act.


Include, but are not limited to:
  • Designing and operationalising new administration processes for receiving, logging, assessing, and issuing recommendations for planning applications
  • Oversight of the Spatial Planning & Development inbox, making sure that critical correspondence is correctly logged and actioned
  • Identifying opportunities for changing and improving administration processes, including identifying potential efficiency or cost savings, and reporting these upwards
  • Responsibility for the Business Continuity plans for the Spatial Planning and Development Division, including in how they pertain to operational resilience, and keeping these up to date and reporting them into the centre
  • Management of the statutory information management processes, like GDPR and Freedom of Information (FoI), for the Spatial Planning and Development Division at Active Travel England
  • Reporting into the centre on the performance of the Development Management Casework Team, including upwards into Active Travel England senior management and into DfTc
  • Providing support to the PMO, both on activities relating to the Spatial Planning and Development Division and on their coordination of wider Active Travel England activities like the regional engagement strategy
  • Supporting the Development Management Team Leader and the Head of Development Management on anticipated workloads
  • Direct line management of a new team of 2x HEO and 1x EO, including onboarding and pastoral care as new starters adjust to life and start their career in Active Travel England
About You

You will be highly organised and motivated, with a good eye for detail. You will have experience of managing the workloads of others, including effective prioritisation to manage resource pressures and ensure that the most important tasks are completed. You will understand development management, including some of the statutory obligations like 21 days to respond, and how the legislation translates into the processes seen at the local authority level. You will also have a good understanding of ways of working within local authorities, and in particular between local planning and local highways authorities.

As well as the above, good knowledge of functional administration processes, and confidence with design new processes that align with those principles. In addition, knowledge of information management legislation, like GDPR and the Freedom of Information Act, and the appropriate supporting processes needed to fulfil those responsibilities.

Additional Information

A minimum of 40% of your working time should be spent at your principal workplace, although requirements to attend other locations for official business, or carry out detached duty in another DfT workplace, will also count towards this level of attendance.

This is a permanent post, that will initially be based in the Department’s Active Travel team as part of Active Travel England until the new organisation is formally established. Thereafter, Active Travel England will have posts across England and be headquartered in York, in line with Government’s location policy. The role will be based in Leeds as the nearest DfT office until York HQ is established.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Changing and Improving
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Benefits
  • Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance. 
  • Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.
Things you need to know

  • Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
  • People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.
  • Selection process details
  • This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.
  • We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.
Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

How to Apply

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please tailor your CV to suit the role. For your Personal Statement, please provide detailed evidence of the following:
  • Strong demonstrable experience of working in a fast-paced administration or other type of back-office support function
  • Strong demonstrational experience of having established new administrative processes and seen them through from inception to a steady state
  • Experience of managing workloads, including those of yourself and others, under pressure, including prioritisation exercises to ensure that business critical work is fulfilled
  • Experience of building resilience into a team or a process to protect the business continuity of an organisation
  • Experience of working in a spatial planning setting, whether in a local authority, within central government or in the private sector
The sift is due to take place w/c 15th September 2022.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held from 29th September 2022.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

We’ll try to meet the dates we’ve set out in the advert. But there may be occasions when these dates will change. We’ll give you plenty of notice of any important dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment will include: 

An interview

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role by reviewing the candidate pack attached, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

Please see attached candidate notes for further information about our recruitment process.

The Department for Transport recruits using Success Profiles. For each role, we consider what you need to demonstrate to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

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