Central Bedfordshire Council is one of the largest unitary authorities in the country and contains a varied mixture of rural countryside, attractive villages and market towns. Creating the sustainable communities that will deliver what local people and businesses need is a complex challenge requiring leadership from highly skilled individuals – people who understand that housing growth, transport infrastructure, employment, health and education facilities are all inextricably and holistically linked.
This ethos is fundamental to the approach taken by the planning team at Central Bedfordshire Council, a location which sits at the heart of one of the highest growth areas in the UK and one of the top ten housing delivery areas.
Geographically, the area could not be more important, given that it represents a significant expanse of the much-publicised Oxford-to-
Cambridge Arc. Central Bedfordshire alone has housing projections of up to 20,000 over the next 15 years, in addition to the 23,000 homes that are already allocated or have planning permission, in a number of key locations.
Notably, an outline application has been submitted for the 5,000 home Marston Vale scheme, proposing residential, employment, retail, community sport and leisure, in addition to seven schools, waterways, cycle routes and ecology areas.
Developing the best
The Council needs the best, most innovative enablers to achieve its ambitions and is investing heavily in ensuring it has a quality team in place.
In 2017 it introduced its RTPI-approved Planning Academy, attracting new talent to be trained and nurtured across the Regeneration and Business Directorate disciplines. As part of a directorate-wide programme of personal and professional development, the focus is very much on career progression and the skills pipeline, something that is critical for the planning profession.
Nomination for RTPI Local Authority Planning Team of the Year
This approach has been endorsed by the RTPI, which has shortlisted Central
Bedfordshire for Local Authority Planning Team of the Year in its 2019 Awards for Planning Excellence.
With new recruits coming into the organisation, Central Bedfordshire is building its team at the top, too. Jennie Selley, Head of Planning Delivery, is currently looking for two Strategic Projects Managers who, with the support of a Programme Manager, will help shape sustainable place-making, taking ownership of and project managing strategic scale planning applications, such as Marston Vale.
“These are not your usual planning roles,” says Jennie. “They will be solely
responsible for one or two strategic projects. There will be no day-to-day
caseload, just their 5,000-plus dwelling scheme to focus on with all the many
aspects involved to maximise the success of the plan.”
These senior roles will help drive the Council’s approach, to ensure quality of
development at all scales and shape the future of the area.
Come and work for us
If you would like to apply for the Strategic Projects Manager positions or join our Planning Team to be part of the exciting growth of Central
Bedfordshire, please call Natalie Franklin on 0300 300 6943 or email [email protected]
Search our current vacancies at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/jobs