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The Friday Five 15.10.21

Published on: 15 Oct 2021

Happy Friday! What's so happy about Friday, you may ask? Well, aside from tomorrow being Saturday, it's the day of the week when we publish the Friday Five. We couldn't publish the Friday Five on a Wednesday, could we? That wouldn't make any sense at all. Anyway, here are five planning jobs for your consideration.


Location: Oakham, Rutland

The job: "Rutland County Council is looking for a principal planning officer to contribute towards the provision of a comprehensive development management service through their specialist skills and overall knowledge of planning and development issues. The principal planning officer will provide professional and technical support as part of a comprehensive, customer-orientated planning service focused on achieving Rutland County Council’s priorities as well as working in partnership across Rutland, the region and the local enterprise partnership area. 

"The post holder will support the development manager in ensuring that all national and local performance targets are met; deal with planning enquiries from elected members and the public; act as a case officer for complex applications; prepare statements for planning appeals; supervise staff and allocating work."

Horseshoe [square]Fun fact: For more than 500 years, members of royalty and peers of the realm who have visited or even just passed through Oakham have been expected to pay a 'forfeit' in the form of a horseshoe.

Some 200 horseshoes are now hung in the great hall of Oakham Castle, the earliest datable one being to commemorate a visit by King Edward IV in 1470. Like many of the shoes, this is an outsized ceremonial shoe, especially made for the occasion. Some, however, are regular horseshoes.

The horseshoes are hung with the points facing down, which is generally considered to be unlucky. In Rutland, however, this was once believed (apparently) to be a way of discouraging the Devil from sitting in Rutland hollow.

The horseshoe now appears in both the county council's arms and on some Ruddles beer labels (Ruddles is brewed in Rutland). The last horseshoe to be presented was back in 2005, when Princess Alexandra visited Oakham.

Find out more and apply


Location: Cambourne/Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

The job: "We are currently recruiting for a strategic sites delivery manager to join the senior management team in the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service. This is an exciting opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment, in one of the largest shared planning services in the country, covering the dynamic areas of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire. 

"In this high profile role, you will be responsible for leading a team of planners dealing with a number of strategic development sites including the new settlements of Northstowe and Waterbeach; a new village at Bourn Airfield; large scale urban extension developments to Cambridge and a range of commercial and mixed use developments, including the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, West Cambridge and the Genome Campus."

Cambourne [square]Fun fact: Despite being the largest settlement in South Cambridgeshire, with a population of around 12,000 people, Cambourne is in fact less than a quarter of a century old. Comprising three villages - Great, Lower and Upper Cambroune - it's been built from scratch since 1998 on what was previously 400 hectares of farmland.

The farm itself was called Monkfield Farm - and Monkfield was originally pencilled in as the name of the new settlement. Eventually, however, it was denied to form a compound of the nearest city, CAMbridge, and a nearby village, BOURN.

Despite its newness, the settlement has a thriving community and plenty of facilities, including a high street, a medical practice, a vet, a pub (the Monkfield Arms), a police station and even a fire station, a business park, and, of course, the district council offices.

Its population is appropriately young - the town has a higher birthrate than the surrounding area, having attracted young couples and families. As a consequence, it has four primary schools and a secondary school - and it's still growing.

Find out more and apply


Location: Lewes and Eastbourne, East Sussex

The job: "As senior planning policy officer you will have a crucial role in leading on the research and development of policy and supplementary supporting documents to support the development plan.

"You will be working directly with councillors, landowners, stake holders and colleagues to ensure that the council’s ‘corporate plan’ is delivered through the local plan making stage.

"This will involve delivering briefings, training sessions and producing written submissions and assessing the impact of specific application proposals in terms of their policy context.

"The work is broad-ranging and fulfilling and requires strong interpretive and analytical skills along with exemplary written and communication skills. With new government agendas designed to improve the quality of the built environment through a stronger focus on sustainability, biodiversity, design and place making, we are looking to recruit someone with demonstrable interest and expertise in these areas as evidenced by a career and background in planning policy."

Lewes bonfire celebrations [square]Fun fact: Every year, on 5 November, Lewes hosts what is considered to be the UK's largest bonfire celebration. Indeed, it claims to be the 'bonfire capital of the world' (do other nations have bonfire nights of any kind?).

The events apparently mark not merely the usual Guy Fawkes Night celebrations, but also the deaths by burning of 17 Protestant martyrs from the town during the reign of Queen Mary.

For the festivities, seven local bonfire societies put on six separate processions and firework displays, and a further 25-30 Sussex bonfire societies join in. In all, around 5,000 people take part in the marching, before around 80,000 spectators, several times the population of Lewes.

Nowadays it's a peaceful, if somewhat boisterous affair, but it wasn't always thus. Celebrations initially resembled riots, until banned by Oliver Cromwell. They restarted under Charles II and continued to be unorganised, rowdy affairs until the mid 19th century when things started to calm down.

There is a history of religious antagonism associated with the Lewes Bonfire. In 1981, the Northern Irish DUP leader Ian Paisley visited and distributed anti-Catholic leaflets. The following year, he was burned in effigy. An effigy of Pope Paul V (Pope at the time of the attempted blowing up of Parliament by Guy Fawkes) continues to be burned; in 2015, effigies of David Cameron (with a pig), Jeremy Clarkson and Sepp Blatter were burned. 

Find out more and apply


Location: Avonmouth, Bristol

The job: "At Biffa, we love working with waste. Whether we’re turning it into sustainable power, finding new ways to recycle it or simply keeping it off the streets, we believe every day is an opportunity to improve the lives of millions. It’s a view that’s shared by our 9,500+ people around the country, who trust us to provide them with a career that’s always rewarding, often challenging, but never dull. And it’s why we’re the UK’s No. 1 choice for business waste management.

"The planning manager ensures delivery of, and support for, key corporate and operational business development projects and strategies relating to investment, growth and planning law compliance. The scope ranges from UK wide to local, and timescales from short weeks to years. This support is essential to the commercial success, reputational standing and legal status of Biffa Plc and the role directly and indirectly impacts on that.

"Responsibilities include:

  • Preparation, submission and negotiation of new planning applications
  • Maintenance and management of development project tracker
  • Responding to relevant national and local policy and regulatory consultations
  • Appointment and management of external environmental consultants as necessary
  • Provision of detailed specialist planning regulation advice, guidance and analysis across the business."

Glastonbury Abbey [square]Fun fact: Avonmouth is a port, industrial, business and residential area that has grown from nothing since the first landing stage was built in 1860. Nowadays it's home to, among other things, a nature reserve that used to be a sewage works and the UK's largest warehouse. 

But it also has residential settlements, a number of which sprung up in the Edwardian area and were worked on by a rather eccentric architect, Frederick Bligh Bond. Based out of Bristol, Bligh Bond designed the schools of medicine and engineering at Bristol University, as well as part of the Kings Weston estate and a number of substantial buildings in Avonmouth.

Why eccentric? Well, Bligh Bond developed an interest in spiritualism and, while overseeing archaeological work at the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey (pictured), claimed to be 'guided' by the spirits of monks who had once lived there.

He joined the Society for Psychical Research and the Ghost Club and later became editor of Psychic Science. He was also Freemason, a Rosicrucian and, weirdly, a Catholic Bishop. Bligh Bond died in 1945 aged 80. He was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary in the 2000s which examined his claims about 'psychic archaeology' at Glastonbury Abbey.

Find out more and apply


Location: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

The job: "Stoke-on-Trent City Council is now starting work on preparing a new local plan for the city. Key duties and responsibilities for this post will be to prepare and manage the production of evidence-based documents; preparation and development of the Local Plan and supporting documents; acting as an expert witness at public examination and hearing sessions; providing specialist advice on planning applications, and aiding the delivery of corporate projects."

First class stamp [square]Fun fact: Arnold Machin, who designed the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that we see on postage stamps, was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1911.

Beginning his life of design at just 14 as an apprentice china painter at the Minton Pottery, he went on to study sculpture at the Stoke-on-Trent College of Art, over the road from the Minton Factory. He later worked at Royal Crown Derby and studied at the London College of Art.

After imprisonment as a conscientious objector during the Second World War, Minchin built a substantial reputation as a sculptor. In 1964 he was chosen to create a new image of Queen Elizabeth II for the new decimal coinage that was to be introduced in 1968. This remained on British coins until 1984.

A similar image he created in 1966 for postage stamps continues to be used on British 'definitive' stamps. For this, Machin adopted the methods he had learned working as s ceramicist and sculptor, creating bas-relief in clay which was set against different coloured backgrounds for different denominations of stamps. The design was first used on the 1967 4d stamp  and is now thought to be one of the most reproduced works of art in history with approximately 320 billion copies produced. Machin died in 1999 and has a minor planet named in his honour - 3109 Machin.

Find out more and apply

Image credits | iStock; iStock; iStock; IrisPhoto1 Shutterstock; iStock