The Friday Five 22.10.21

Published on: 22 Oct 2021

It's the Friday Five - our pick of the best jobs on The Planner Jobs this week - along with location-based 'facts'. It's all about the facts.


Location: Greenwich, London

The job: "Be part of Greenwich's vision to successfully accommodate a high level of sustainable growth, which will have a positive and enhancing impact on the existing environment and community.  

"We are looking for a key member of the team that will be instrumental in formulating and developing planning policy, that will be influential in transforming the Borough and opportunities available for residents. 

"To develop and enhance our ambitious and dynamic planning team, we are looking for a progressive and transformational manager to take forward the council's quality growth agenda. These are challenging and exciting times and we are embarking on a new local plan, bringing forward a site allocation plan, a CIL review and SPDs, as well as responding to future government reforms."

Palace of Placentia [square]Fun fact: Greenwich was at one time home to the primary royal palace, a place where Tudor monarchs were born and rules, before it was turned into a biscuit factory and finally demolished.

The Palace of Placentia was a grand manor house within 200 acres of royal park (now Greenwich Park) that came under Crown control in 1447. It was expanded by Henry VII and i twas her that King Henry VIII was born in 1491. Henry made the Placentia his primary palace and a location for huge parties, banquets and jousting tournaments. Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I were also born here and it remained the principal royal residence for James I and Charles I, too.

With the English Civil War, however, its fortunes Changed. Oliver Crowell turned the palace into a biscuit factory and then a prisoner of war camp. By the Restoration of 1660 it had fallen into disrepair. the new king, Charles II ordered it demolition and a 'mot magnificent palace' to be built in its place. Only part of this was ever completed and now forms part of the University of greenwich and the Royal Naval Museum.

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2. LANDSCAPE ADVISER, NATURESCOT (12 month contract)

Location: Scotland (actual location flexible)

The job: "This is a temporary, full-time role within NatureScot’s Supporting Good Development (SGD) activity. You will provide landscape input to support NatureScot’s role in the planning system. This is input on development management, development planning, and planning policy.

"You will assess and provide advice on the likely landscape and visual impacts of a range of larger-scale development applications – principally, renewable energy proposals. You will work closely with colleagues to prepare overall NatureScot responses.

"You may be required to provide input to policies and plans that help Scotland’s landscapes change for the better – and that help Scotland’s nature and landscapes play a key role in the creation of great places to live, work, and visit."

Pine marten [square]Fun fact: NatureScot - formerly known as Scottish Natural Heritage - is the public body responsible for Scotland's natural heritage, particularly ints natural, genetic and scenic diversity. a major part of its role is to attempt to slow, stop and reverse the massive biodiversity loss in Scotland, particularly since the 1950s, as a result of farming, forestry and fisheries practices (although the loss of biodiversity actually began much earlier with Highland clearances, the conversion of large tracts of land to sheep farming and the creation of massive shooting estates).

Though we think of Scotland as a biodiversity hub and a refuge for a number of UK species that are in decline, such as pine martens and red squirrels, it is in fact in the bottom 25 per cent of nations worldwide for biodiversity intactness. Just 56 per cent of its native biodiversity remains intact, compared to around 50 per cent for Britain as a whole (England is less than 50 per cent).

With the COP26 climate change conference about to begin in Glasgow, biodiversity is very much on the agenda as part of sustainable, nature-friendly solutions to to ravages of climate change. Much of the focus in Scotland in particular in on rewilding and reforestation to restore natural environments that can then capture a good deal more carbon but also provide a landscape in which 'green economies' can grow and flourish. 

Given the damage that the UK's natural environments have sustained as a result of resource mismanagement over the last 2-300 years, there is a long, long way to go.

Find out more and apply


Location: Micheldever, near Winchester, Hampshire

The job: "We are looking for an experienced planning professional to contribute to our ongoing work in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Berkshire and West Sussex.

"You will play a key role in tackling the planning challenges facing our properties – from influencing major external infrastructure and third-party development projects to the sensitive development of our own places to sustain their future.

"Our special places are facing huge pressure from external development in London and South East. Using your specialist planning knowledge, you will help us to improve our own infrastructure and visitor experience, adapt to climate change and operate our properties in a more sustainable way to manage challenges, mitigate impacts and seize the opportunities."

Panhard Levassar car [square]Fun fact: In 1895, Micheldever Railway Station was the starting point for the first ever automobile journey in Britain. the vehicle in question was a Panhard-Levassar with a Daimler engine that had been bought by Evelyn Ellis, an avid supporter of, and investor in, the new motoring industry.

At the time, car manufacturing in Britain was slowed by a  rule that any self-propelled vehicle could not exceed 4mph and had to be preceded by a man walking and waving a red flag. Ellis wished to challenge the law to point up its absurdity and so had a vehicle built for him in France and shipped over by ferry and train to Micheldever.

Collecting the vehilce at Micheldever Station on 5 July 1895, Ellis drove it to Datchet, some 45 miles away, at speeds exceeding 4mph without being stopped by police.

The act restricting speed was repealed the following year and the speed limit raised to 12mph. This was celebrated with the first Motor Car Tour to Brighton, now simply known as the Brighton Run. Ellis went on to become one of the first directors of the Daimler Motor in Coventry and a founder of the RAC (Royal Automobile Club).

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Location: Flexible: Croydon, London; Sittingbourne, Kent; or Battle, Sussex

The job: "As Optivo’s planning manager within our land and new business division you’ll have the exciting opportunity to Advise on, manage and undertake all aspects of planning applications and planning policy in relation to Optivo’s development activity.

In this exciting new role, you will:

  • Advise on planning risk and strategy. 
  • You’ll make recommendations on scheme design, timescales, financial contributions and planning conditions.
  • Negotiate planning related matters with external parties including but not limited to planning authorities, vendors and contractors.
  • Undertake pre-application meetings with local authorities and stakeholders / consultees to de-risk the planning strategy and application.
  • Advise on the how public consultation should be undertaken for planning applications.
  • Submit and negotiate planning applications and s106 agreements
  • You’ll present to planning committees and other interested groups
  • Advise on and manage the CIL process including relief."

Vintage cookbook [square]Fun fact: Battle was the birthplace in 1799 of the poet and pioneering cookery writer Eliza Acton, whose Modern Cookery for Private Families created the template for present day recipe books.

It was pioneering for several reasons: it was aimed at a domestic audience; it was the fist cookery book to list ingredients and give suggested cooking times; it included the first recipes for Brussels sprouts and spaghetti, as well as Christmas pudding.

Though born in Battle, to a brewer and his wife, Acton grew up in Ipswich. In 1817 - still a teenager - she founded a boarding school for girls. At some point she travelled in France (possibly for health reasons, possibly to give birth to an illegitimate daughter). On her return to England, she began writing poetry and had a number published. In 1845 she published the first version of her cookbook for middle-class families.

This was a revelation and, because of the high quality of Acton's prose, is still highly regarded today by the likes of Delia Smith and Elizabeth David.

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Location: Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

The job: "Proactive, ambitious and hardworking, you will work with fellow officers within the team, to deliver an effective development management service for Milton Keynes Council.

"You will work closely with others, helping to shape the planning services to deliver physical, social and economic growth for Milton Keynes. The role involves supporting case officers in determining planning applications, with opportunities to develop and progress in the role, and take on a small caseload of your own applications. 

"This role would therefore be a good fit for someone new to planning, ideal for graduates or those with an interest in planning as a career, who are looking for their first development management role."

WD40 [square]Fun fact: Milton Keynes is the location of the European HQ of 'the motorist's friend', WD40. A multi-purpose spray, it functions as a lubricant, rust preventative, penetrant and water displacer.

It was invented in 1953 by employees of the Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego, and its recipe has remained something of a closely-guarded secret ever since. Its name stands for 'water displacement' (WD) and '40th formula' - ie, the 40th attempt to create the product.

'WD40 Multi-Use Product' was initially used to protect the outer skin of the USA's first intercontinental ballistic missile from rust and corrosion. It worked so well that, apparently, employed began sneaking it out for the factory for use at home. by 1958, WD40 was available in shops in aerosol form - and it's remained basically the same ever since, albeit the company's range of products has now expanded.

The company's website notes some the more unusual uses of WD40 that have been reported: "Some of the more interesting stories include the bus driver in Asia who used WD-40 Multi-Use Product to remove a python snake, which had coiled itself around the undercarriage of his bus, or when police officers used WD-40 Multi-Use Product to remove a naked burglar trapped in an air conditioning vent."

Find out more and apply

Image credits | iStock; iStock; Vlad Prokopenko, Shutterstock; iStock; iStock