A round-up of the best, most interesting and unusual jobs on Planner Jobs this week.
1. RIDE A WHITE HORSE
Planning enquiries/Assistant planning officer, South Oxfordshire District Council & Vale of White Horse District Council.
The two councils share a joint HQ in modern redbrick offices in the village of Milton, about three miles west of Didcot and 12 miles south of Oxford, in Oxfordshire.
"We are looking for an ambitious enquires/assistant planning officer committed to place-making and high-quality customer service. You will act as the primary contact for both councils for enquires received by the planning policy team and be responsible for managing enquires and, where appropriate, responding with the help of more senior colleagues. You can expect to assist in topics or sections in the plan and evidence base, neighbourhood plans and wide range of other activities engaged with by the team.
"This is an exciting time to join the team. Both councils' local plans are balancing the need for significant housing and economic growth with the environment. We are also receiving significant investment in infrastructure, and we have the prospect of nationally significant infrastructure planned in Oxfordshire."
Between them the two councils cover a considerable area between Oxford, Swindon and Reading, including a large chunk of the Chiltern Hills AONB.
Vale of White Horse is, unsurprisingly, named after the famous White Horse of Uffington - a giant, stylised figure of a horse cut into the chalky soil in the hills above Uffington.
The origin of the horse is unknown. Popular legend has it that the horse commemorated a military victory over the Danes by King Alfred, who was born in nearby Wantage. However, scientific dating of silt deposits has dated it to the late Bronze Age - some time between 1380 and 550 BCE. One theory has it that the horse's alignment with the sun, particularly during midwinter when the sun seems to 'overtake' the horse, reflects an ancient belief that the sun was carried across the sky on a horse.
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2. A MAJOR MOVE
Planning officer, North East Derbyshire District Council.
A new 'state-of-the-art' HQ in the village of Wingerworth, a few miles south of Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
"We are looking for an enthusiastic individual with excellent communication and time management skills seeking to make positive decisions to secure sustainable development in North East Derbyshire working within a busy but supportive team. Whilst initially dealing with small scale proposals, opportunities will be available to become involved in more complex proposals as appropriate.
"The main duty of the post will be to ensure householder applications are determined in a timely manner and as such, the successful candidate will be an essential element of the development management team."
A mostly rural, former coalmining district dotted with small settlements, North East Derbyshire borders Chesterfield, Bolsover, the Derbyshire Dales, Sheffield and Rotherham. It's a non-constituent partner member of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority. The legacy of 1980s coalmine closures is still keenly felt, though the district has seen considerable remediation and regeneration in recent years.
Arkwright Town - not a town despite its name - is a settlement in North East Derbyshire that was moved in its entirety in the early 1990s.
It had been a coal mining village but Arkwirght Colliery was closed in 1988, upon which it was discovered that the community was threatened by emissions of methane gas from the former mine. The entire settlement was owned by British Coal which transferred ownership of the 52 properties to a housing trust, built a new settlement of 56 properties to the north of the site and moved all the residents. The old Arkwright Town was demolished in 1995 (pic shows a plaque marking its former location).
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3. A KIND OF UTOPIA
Trust manager (chief executive), The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust.
HQ is a large and handsome converted house in - where else? - Hampstead Garden Suburb, north west London.
"As the Trust manager you will be responsible to the Trust Council for the performance of the Trust in conserving and maintaining the character and amenities of the Hampstead Garden Suburb. You will bring demonstrable passion for the Trust’s purpose with excellent interpersonal skills to work with all stakeholders; provide strong financial oversight and manage a small dedicated team.
"The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust was set up in 1968 to maintain and preserve the character and amenities of the Suburb. It is recognised internationally as one of the finest examples of early twentieth century domestic architecture and town planning. It is a conservation area within the London Borough of Barnet and contains a large number of listed buildings. There are over 3,800 houses and 1,300 flats on the Suburb, as well as commercial properties, public buildings, woods and open spaces."
The Royal town Planning Institute's second president, Sir Raymond Unwin, was integral to the planning of the Hampstead Garden Suburb in 1905. Unwin, who had recently planned the pioneering Letchworth Garden City, was invited to plan the Suburb by its founder, the social reformer Henrietta Barnett.
Born in Rotherham, raised in Oxford and first working as an engineer in Chesterfield, Unwin was strongly influenced by the Utopian Socialism of William Ruskin and, particularly, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Having worked on a number of model towns, he developed an approach to housebuilding - favouring a simple vernacular - that became highly influential in the development of new homes for the working classes. Unwin died in 1940.
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4. A CHANGE OF SCENE
Assistant manager, enforcement, Gateshead Council.
The Civic Centre is a modern redbrick office building on the fringe of the town centre in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
"We are looking for someone with experience of and confidence in regulation and investigation but also with a real depth of knowledge of planning legislation and enforcement.
"You will be responsible for supervising the work of the team and managing performance, ensuring that systems, procedures and legislative requirements are followed. You will be required to use your knowledge of planning and enforcement to advise on complex issues and to provide professional advice to senior management and councillors."
Gateshead is a large town on the south bank of the River Tyne, linked to Newcastle by seven bridges. The Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead covers a substantial part of Tyne and Wear and includes a number of other towns - though more than half the borough is green belt or countryside.
Gateshead's built environment has been through several incarnations, producing strong impressions on those who have seen it. It initially evolved around a Medieval core, but this was destroyed by an explosion in the mid-19th century as the town industrialised. In the 1930s, the author J B Priestley in English Journey said of the industrialised town that "no true civilisation could have produced such a town", adding that it appeared to have been designed "by an enemy of the human race".
In the early 1970s it was associated with Brutalist movement, the Trinity Centre Car park designed by Owen Luder assuming an iconic role in the film Get Carter. the car park was demolished in the 2000s, as were other examples of Brutalism.
Nowadays, the town's Gateshead Quays cultural quarter has become synonymous once again with the ultra-modern and new. For example, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge won the Stirling Prize in 2002, and The Sage Gateshead is a Norman Foster designed venue for music and the performing arts.
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5. GET SETTLED IN
Town planner, Whirledge and Nott chartered surveyors, planners and property advisers.
A converted barn amid a cluster of other converted farm buildings just outside the mid-sized market town of Rayleigh in Essex. The firm has other offices in Chelmsford and Colchester.
- Deliver expert planning advice to a wide range of clients on varied sites
- Preparation of planning applications, appeals and site appraisals
- Provide effective project management of external consultant teams whilst fulfilling clients' needs
- Creative problem solving of clients' planning issues
- Monitoring and preparation of local plan representations
"Established in 1988, we are a thriving firm of chartered surveyors, planners and property advisors. Our head office is in Rayleigh, but we have offices in Chelmsford and Colchester. We are professional, ethical and are proud to be considered the leading firm of rural surveyors in Essex."
An Anglo Saxon cemetery was discovered during preparation for a housing development in Rayleigh in the early 2000s on the site of a former school. The cemetery yielded evidence of 145 cremation burials and one inhumation burial, possibly of a high-born woman. The cemetery is thought to extend further, beyond the limit of the development.
Given the location, in the East of England, it's no surprise to find evidence of Saxon settlement. By the Domesday Book of 1086 - a time when Rayleigh had one of just 48 Norman motte and bailey castles in England - Rayleigh was recorded as being home to 35 households (including two slaves) which - astonishingly - bracketed it with the largest 20 per cent of settlements recorded.
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Photo credits | Peter Barr (Arkwright Town), Shutterstock, iStock