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The Friday Five 11.03.22

Published on: 11 Mar 2022


Location: Hastings, East Sussex

The job: “We have an exciting opportunity for a qualified principal planning officer within our development management team dealing with planning applications, pre applications and appeals.

“The ideal person for this role will have experience in assessing and determining more complex planning applications. Ideally this will include major applications. However, this may be an opportunity for you to jump into a more senior role and expand your experience.

“As a principal planning officer at Hastings you would deal with major applications. You will also be able to demonstrate an excellent knowledge of development management. You’ll have excellent knowledge of planning legislation and policy at local, regional, and national levels.  

“Hastings has seen significant development in the past few years, not least a multi-million pound project to restore its historic pier and the economy-boosting link road. In June 2021, Hastings Borough Council was awarded £24.3m from the Government’s Towns Fund. Hastings’ £24.3m investment includes a new green and low carbon Centre of Excellence that will provide new commercial space while also helping the town seize the opportunities of the emerging green economy.”

Tram [square]Fun fact: From 1905 until 1929 Hastings had its own tram system. Operated by Hastings and District Electric Tramways, it ran trams worked by overhead electric wires. from St Leonards on one site of Hastings to Bexhill, several miles away on the other side.

Under the terms of the 1905 act of Parliament that permitted tram systems to be built, local authorities were given an option to purchase their local operator in 1925. Hastings Council turned up the offer, Hastings and District Electric Tramways considered its options and, in 1929, the tram lines closed, to be replaced by trolleybuses.

And that would be that, but for the diligent detective work of a group of local tram enthusiasts. In 1995, members of the Hastings Tramways Club discovered two of the original trams at a bungalow in Camber that was about to be demolished. They have spent the intervening years restoring tram numbers 48 and 56 and they can be seen at Staplecross Shrub Centre a few miles north of Hastings.

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Location: York, North Yorkshire

The job: One post is permanent; the other is fixed-term to end 23 February 2023. “Are you looking to develop your career in town planning, and already have some experience? If so, this role could be a great opportunity for you.

“York has an outstanding built and natural environment and new development opportunities have to be carefully managed to preserve the City’s special qualities. 

“You will join our friendly team assessing a caseload of planning applications and pre-application enquiries primarily for householder and minor developments.

“This is a career-graded post which will give you the opportunity to progress in your career subject to qualifications and experience. Appointment within the career grade will be in line with your skills, experience and qualifications.  Ideally you will have some experience of dealing with householder planning applications.

All candidates must have sound knowledge of the local government planning and development management system, relevant legislation, policy, guidelines and best practice.”

Yew tree [square]Fun fact: A little name based etymology for you. Viking associations with the City of York are strong - indeed it was the capital of the Danelaw in the 9th and 10th centuries. So it’s fairly well known that the name of the city, York, derives from its old Norse name Jórvík. But where did this come from? Let’s trace it back.

Most immediately, the Danes took it from the Anglian name Eoforwic which arose in the 7th century. This, in turn was taken from the Roman name Eboracum. It’s likely that the Anglians took the Ebor bit of the name to be cognate with eofor, meaning boar. Then they added -wic, meaning village.
However, the Roman name was actually based on an earlier Ancient British name for the settlement, Eburākon. And this doesn't come from the word for boar but the word for yew tree (eburos).

In short, York derives from an ancient name meaning ‘the place of the Yew trees’, which has travelled over more than 2,000 years through Brittonic, Roman, Anglian, Old Norse, Middle English, Early Modern Engish and into Modern English as York. Interestingly the Archbishop of York still signs his surname as Ebor.

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Location: Needham Market, Suffolk/hybrid

The job: “We are a small company focussing on supporting the development of renewable energy projects across the UK and across technologies from on-shore wind to solar, battery and ev charging stations. We seek a lateral-thinking, solutions driven individual who can help develop and grow the company’s existing portfolio of projects and clients, as well as providing a lead on planning matters.

“We have an opportunity for an MRTPI qualified town planner with more than ten years’ project management experience to join our successful team of renewable energy experts.

“Through a collaborative team approach we each contribute to the success of all of our clients’ projects and we are looking for someone who thrives in this supportive environment. Project management skills are pivotal as you will be the key point of contact for your clients with responsibility for progression of the projects from green-field to planning permission and planning conditions discharge. We on occasion support the legal team taking projects through the inquiry process and there is potential opportunity to manage this process should projects follow this determination route.

“Our focus is very much on renewable energy projects; through our client base we have, however, supported residential, commercial and leisure projects. This is an area we are keen to develop and bring our skills to utilise the green agenda to promote wider development opportunities. We would be expecting you to develop workstreams as well as service existing workstreams. Energy experience is therefore beneficial but in no way critical to the role.”

Rusty chains [square]Fun fact: The town of Market Needham spent its plague years from 1663-65 in chains. Not the people, you understand - the village itself.

To be more specific, a chain was placed across the road through the village at either end of the settlement to prevent people coming or going, on the basis that containing the disease within the town would prevent its further spread.

During this lengthy period of confinement, residents of neighbouring Stowmarket would, apparently, leave food beside the chain across the bridge at the entrance to the town; Needham Market residents would collect the food and then deposit money in a bucket full of vinegar which, it was believed, would prevent transmission of the disease.

The plan worked - the chains did indeed inhibit the spread of plague in East Anglia. However, the isolation also ruined the town’s economy (based on wool) and it took around two centuries to recover from the effects.

This period is remembered in names: Chainhouse at the south end of the village and Chainbridge at the north. Moreover, a street called Causeway which has no causeway was apparently once called Corpseway because this is the route along which plague victims were transported for burial.

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Location: Hull, East Yorkshire

The job: “Hull City Council is looking for an experienced and enthusiastic person to manage a team with responsibility for preparing the statutory development plan for the city including the Hull Local Plan and for associated work including supplementary planning documents, neighbourhood planning, masterplans and development briefs and fulfilling national, sub-regional and other monitoring responsibilities.

“Taking responsibility for leading on the implementation of the development plan, you will also lead the council’s urban design and conservation functions.

“As planning policy and delivery manager, you will be responsible for ensuring that the national plan led system is applied in a manner which supports sustainable growth and contributes positively to other corporate priorities including responding to the climate emergency and facilitating growth and investment.

“You will also advise the head of planning and other senior officers and members on national and regional planning policy matters as these affect the city, along with deputising for the head of planning as required.”

Amy Johnson statue [square]Fun fact: Hull was the birthplace of one of Britain’s greatest aviators, Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from the UK to Australia, but who disappeared (in a somewhat unexplained fashion) somewhere over the Thames Estuary in 1941.

Born in 1903 into a family of relatively prosperous fish merchants, she gained a degree in economics at Sheffield University before working as solicitor’s secretary in London. While in the capital she was introduced to flying as a hobby and gained her aviator’s certificate, in January 1929 and pilot’s A licence six months later.  Less than a year after that, in May 1930, she made her historic flight, taking off in her Gipsy Moth biplane from Croydon Airport in Surrey and landing in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory 19 days and 18,000 kilometres later.

It was an incredible feat for which she was rightly lauded. Johnson went on to set numerous other records, including quickest flight from London to Moscow and then to Tokyo, and from London to Capetown in South Africa. 

During World War Two, Johnson first acted as a target for anti-aircraft gunners to practice on, then joined the Air Transport Auxiliary, piloting RAF aircraft around the UK. She disappeared on 5 January 1941, while flying from Glasgow to Oxford in treacherous conditions, Wildly off course, she bailed out over the Thames Estuary when out of fuel. A rescue was attempted by a ship which saw her come down, but conditions were awful and the rescue failed. In 1999 it was claimed that she was shot down by friendly fire, having failed to identify herself correctly.

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Location: Letchworth Garden City, Hertts

The jobs: 

  • Development management and strategic planning (3 vacancies)
  • Principal planner (strategic planning)
  • Senior planning officer (major projects)
  • Planning officer / senior planning officer (development management)

“North Hertfordshire is a large rural district of approximately 125,000 residents with four historic towns: Hitchin, Baldock, Royston and the world’s first garden city at Letchworth. Our District also contains many villages of varying scales, identity and characteristics. Much of North Hertfordshire is made up of beautiful rural countryside embracing parts of the Chilterns AONB.

“The council has a clear vision: to make North Hertfordshire a district in which everyone who lives, works or visits is able to flourish. We have number of exciting opportunities to join our team. The council’s planning service is growing in response to the number and scale of projects we need to deliver. Please view the ad for details.”

Letchworth Garden City [square]Fun fact: More place-based wordage. Letchworth garden City could well have ended up Alseopolis, a name derived from the Greek words for garden and city.

This was one of six names on a shortlist presented to shareholders of First Garden City Limited in 1904 when they were called on to choose a name for the new settlement they were building.

The shortlist was:

  • Garden City
  • Letchworth
  • Letchworth (Garden City)
  • Wellworth (derived from the village names Willian, Wilbury and Letchworth)
  • Homesworth
  • Alseopolis

Letchworth (Garden City) won by a large majority and reflects the name of the settlement that had existed on the site for centuries. Indeed, the name Letchworth comes from the Old English lecha weorthig meaning ‘farm by the rivulet’.

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Photo credits | iStock; Shutterstock; Holwichaikawee, Shutterstock; ABCstock, Shutterstock; iStock