1. GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN'
Development officer/ Senior development officer - Enforcement, monitoring and compliance, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.
Red brick offices in Solihull town centre, Warwicks.
Working in our enforcement, monitoring and compliance team, you will:
- Investigate and act upon alleged breaches of planning control
- Deal with associated enforcement appeals
- Carry out and/or contribute to planning and environmental-related criminal investigations
- Represent the council in hearings
- Deal with enquiries and correspondence arising from the above.
The borough of Solihull is a mid-sized borough in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, centring on the large town of Solihull, a few miles south of Birmingham. The most affluent town in the West Midlands, it's also one of the most affluent in the UK and has previously been named the 'best place to live in the UK'. It's the home of Land Rover's main production plant, much of Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre.
Solihull is home to the National Motorcycle Museum, which houses the largest collection of British motorcycles in the world. Founded in 1984 by local businessman and motorcycle enthusiast W R Richards (who once owned Europe's largest crane hire company), it has more than 1,000 British motorcycles with 170 different marques covering every era of motorcycling from its earliest machine, from 1898, to the present day. Solihull is an apt location for the museum - it was the home of the Triumph motorbike factory from 1942-1983.
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2. UP THE BAGGIES!
Planning officer - regeneration, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.
A redbrick office complex in the town centre, Oldbury, a few miles north west of Birmingham, in the West Midlands.
"We are looking to recruit a planning officer to support the delivery of major regeneration projects across the Borough of Sandwell.
"You will be involved in several exciting major regeneration schemes, bringing forward significant land for housing, employment, education and leisure development which involves working collaboratively with stakeholders, developers, other governmental and council departments."
Sandwell is a diverse borough that spans a densely populated swathe of the West Midlands conurbation (the famous 'Black Country'), comprising the towns of Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich.
West Bromwich Albion FC's ground, the Hawthorns, is the highest of all 92 Premier League and Football League Clubs, at an altitude of 551 feet. The club, founded in 1878 by workers from George Salter's Spring Works, has called The Hawthorns home since 1900.
West Brom was one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, finishing sixth in the league's inaugural season. The club finally won the championship in 1920 and has won the FA Cup five times, most recently in 1968, and the League Cup in 1966. The club is nicknamed 'The Baggies' which - the theory has it - was bestowed on them by rival Aston Villa fans because of the large baggy trousers many Albion fans wore at work to protect themselves from molten iron in the factories and foundries of the Black Country.
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3. NO DOUBTING THOMAS
Principal planner (policy), Telford and Wrekin Council.
The Civic Centre is a redbrick office on the fringe of Telford town centre, Shropshire - a few miles east of Shrewsbury.
"This is an exciting opportunity to join apT, a pioneering public sector development consultancy, which is part of Telford and Wrekin Council. apT brings together a dynamic team of planners, building surveyors, highway engineers, built heritage specialists, ecologists, and other key specialisms.
"You will play a key role within the planning team helping to deliver the council's statutory service, in the preparation, monitoring, review and implementation of the development plan for the borough. You will take a lead role in preparing the development plan strategy, supervising projects, providing key input into corporate strategies, and supporting the delivery of neighbourhood plans."
A mid-sized borough in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin spans a number of villages and small towns, though Telford is the largest settlement. The new town is one of the fastest growing towns in the UK and the area describes itself as 'the birthplace of industry' because of its role in the Industrial Revolution.
Telford is named after Thomas Telford, a Scottish civil engineer and the 'colossus of roads' whose work as Surveyor of Public Works for Shropshire was instrumental in enabling the Industrial Revolution and its benefits to spread.
But the town was originally called Dawley when first designated as a new town in 1963. The name Telford didn't appear until 1968, to accompany an expansion of the new town that would double its size. The Telford New Town Development Corporation wasn't wound up until he early 1990s, by which time Telford was approaching its 25th anniversary and was established as one of the most important towns in the region.
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4. AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Senior planner, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council.
The grade II listed, mid 19th-century, Arts and Crafts-influenced Bushloe House between Wigston and South Wigston, South Leicestershire.
"As a senior planner you will be working in a small, but growing, progressive and supportive environment. Reporting directly to the development control manager, you will be responsible for delivering a wide variety of planning solutions including initial pre-application enquiries, planning applications, appeal submissions and working closely alongside our planning policy and economic regeneration teams to delivery some exciting initiatives in the council’s brand new local plan.
"Your work will include working across multiple sectors and on multiple projects at any one time. Site visits, public, contractor and stakeholder liaison will all be large parts of the role. You will also be representing the council on specialist bodies and at committee meetings."
One of England's smallest boroughs - in size as well as population - Oadby and Wigston is predominantly urban and runs directly in to Leicester to the north. It consists of three settlements - Oadby, Wigston Magna and South Wigston. An affluent area, it nevertheless has low house prices.
Wigston Magna - or more specifically Wigston Magna police station - was for a short time home to Graham Chapman of Monty Python fame (pictured above, with pipe). Chapman, born a few miles away in Stoneygate in 1941, was the son of a police inspector who was posted to the town around 1951-52.
Chapman went on to become both a qualified doctor and a comedy writer and actor, his gift for performing and his friendship with fellow Cambridge graduate John Cleese pulling him towards the latter. He was considered the best actor among the Pythons and so took the lead roles in both Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Life of Brian.
Chapman was one of the first celebrities to come out as openly gay, in 1972; he was also a member of the Dangerous Sports Club. He sadly died of cancer in 1989, aged 48, on the eve of the Python's 20th anniversary celebrations. Subsequent Monty Python reformations have included an urn said to contain Chapman's ashes.
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Deputy team leader (plan making), London Borough of Croydon.
Council HQ is the recently completed Bernard Weatherill, an ultra-modern office in downtown Croydon, south London.
"Croydon has embarked on a review of its local plan. The goal is to plan for 46,000 new homes over the next 20 years (or roughly one new home for every three existing in Croydon today); not forgetting the jobs, services and infrastructure to support that level of growth. All of this will need to be balanced against ensuring Croydon continues to be a great place to live and work.
"As deputy team leader (plan making) you will be project managing the local plan review to deliver this; as well as supporting a range of other projects. To do this you’ll be assisted by an award winning team of planners, urban designers and landscape architects."
A large town with a substantial - and very diverse - population, Croydon is one of the largest commercial districts in the country outside central London. Regularly used as film set depicting heavily urban locations (including The Dark Knight Rises), Croydon is home to some of the tallest buildings in the UK outside central London. It's not entirely urban, however - the borough has plenty of green space and stretches into the North Downs in the south.
Coulsdon, a medium-sized town in the south west of the borough, had one of the first cricket clubs in the world, founded in 1762. The Old Coulsdon Cricket Club, one of the strongest teams int he country in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, may have been the first to use three stumps and two bails. Cricket was originally played on land opposite a pub in 'Smitham Bottom' and the first recorded results come from gam played between Surrey and East Grinstead in 1731.
In 1995, falling numbers prompted Old Couldson Cricket Club to merge with nearby Redhill Cricket Club to become Redhill and Old Coulsdon Cricket Club.
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Photos | Geograph - David P Howard (National Motorcycle Museum); Shutterstock; Settanta (Monty Python); iStock