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The Friday Five 25.08.23

Written by: Planner Team
Published on: 25 Aug 2023

It's The Friday Five, our weekly round-up of five of the best town planning jobs on Planner Jobs this week – plus a selection of fun, place-based facts to educate, enthral and entertain. This week, opportunities in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, City of Edinburgh, London, Clerkenwell, Fleet in Hart District (NE Hampshire) and  Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough,

1. Principal Planning Enforcement Officer, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Location: Council Offices, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (hybrid working)

The job: “You will need to develop and maintain strong relationships with colleagues, applicants, agents, solicitors and the wider community as part of providing an efficient and responsive customer-focussed service.

“You will have good communication and negotiation skills and be able to demonstrate methodical and well organised working. It is essential that you have experience in enforcement and are able to work under pressure. You will have some experience in staff management and project management skills. 

“The ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English is essential in this post.”

The Old Palace [square]Fun fact: Although only 6.4 miles apart, Hatfield and St Albans share very different histories. St Albans, always a hive of anarchy, saw Alban martyred under the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus, the birth of the Magna Carta at the abbey in 1213, and two Wars of the Roses fought in the city against a weak crown in 1455 and 1461.

Hatfield, however, has long connections with the throne, mostly because of Hatfield House. The current Jacobean estate was built by the first Earl of Salisbury, Robert Cecil, in 1611 – a move away from royalty and aristocracy living in castles and transitioning to country houses. Today, it is the private residence of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, seventh Marquess of Salisbury. However, an earlier building on the site was the Royal Palace of Hatfield. Only part of this still exists near the present house – the Tudor Old Palace, built in 1497, which is now an events venue – heck, you can even get married there! 

But it is most noted as the childhood home and favourite residence of Queen Elizabeth I. Later, she spent periods of house arrest there on the orders of her sister from another mother, Queen Mary, who feared Lizzy would plot against her. It was here, on 17 November 1558, while sitting under an oak tree in the grounds, that she was informed that Mary was dead – and she was queen at 25. Her first council of state with William Cecil, later Lord Burghley, was held in the banqueting hall of the Old Palace. The tree was visited by Queen Victoria in 1846, but by the early 20th century it was ailing and was removed in 1978. Elizabeth II planted a new oak on-site in 1985. 
The palace and grounds have appeared in at least 78 movies and TV series – not all royalty themed, including: Elizabeth R – The Golden Age with Cate Blanchett, Shakespeare in Love, Michael Keaton’s Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Netflix series The Crown.

Find out more and apply

2. Planning Adviser, Homes for Scotland

Location: City of Edinburgh

The job: “We are seeking a like-minded individual to join our focused and dynamic team to help us positively influence the planning system for the benefit of our members and everyone in need of a new home.

“The post holder will operate within the context of HFS’s strategy, values and operating procedures, as directed by the Senior Management Team and Board.”

MaruKlose [square]Fun fact: Edinburgh’s Old Town is riddled with ‘closes’, narrow, historic alleyways. One of the most (in)famous is Mary King’s Close – a subterranean street so ghostly it has an entire ‘Hauntings’ section on Wikipedia. The street – which can be visited today – is partially enclosed: presumably 17th-century planning officials were more relaxed about daylight standards. 

Find out more and apply


3, Town Planner, BDP

Location: London, Clerkenwell 

The job: “This role requires confident written and verbal communication to deliver planning advice that  assists with strategy development, decision-making and problem solving.  

“Candidates must be able to work on a variety of different types of planning projects with  different team members and clients from the public sector and private sector. Consulting with  community groups is also an important aspect of the role. An interest in design and social  value is also desirable.”

St Johns [square]Fun fact: Take a walk around Clerkenwell and you can hardly escape things bearing the name St John. There’s St John’s Street, home to the St John restaurant, serving up ‘nose to tail’ nosh: crispy pig's cheek is on the menu at the time of writing.

The street takes its name from the medieval St John’s Priory, home to the Knights Hospitaller, also known as the Knights of St John. This order was formed in the early 12th century, and provided military support during the Crusades. 

The Order of St John still exists, albeit with fewer suits of armour, having been refounded in 1888. Their modern activities include the St John’s Ambulance service, and St John’s Gate in Clerkenwell houses a small museum detailing the order’s history. 

Find out more and apply

4, Development Management Planner, Hart District Council

Location: Fleet in Hart District (NE Hampshire)

The job: “You will be able to demonstrate relevant town planning experience and ideally have a degree in town planning or a closely related discipline.

“You will be working within a team of professional officers handling a busy caseload of householder and non-householder development proposals, dealing with all stages of the development management process in a professional and timely manner and to sustainable development principles.

“You shall have a positive approach to delivering excellent customer service with good communication skills, placing the customer at the heart of the business. 

“You will need to be able to work well under pressure with the ability to work flexibly to manage your workload to agreed deadlines and play an active role within the Development Management team.”

Fleet [square]Fun fact: Fleet is home to Fleet Pond – but don’t be fooled by the name. This is no ornamental pond, but is actually the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire and the eponymous nature reserve contains 141 acres of habitats. Victorian railway companies promoted Fleet Pond as a tourist destination and it was popular with day-trippers from London, especially in the winter months when the pond froze over and could be skated on.  

Find out more and apply


5, Senior Development Management Officer, West Lindsey District Council

Location: Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough

The job: |We are seeking to recruit an outcome-focused and experienced Planning Officer, dedicated  to achieving high-quality developments with a thorough understanding of current and emerging  planning legislation. You will need to be ready to hit the ground running with a diverse  caseload of applications, from more complex non-major developments through to major  residential, commercial and agricultural schemes. You will benefit from flexible working, a  minimum of 28 days annual leave and an essential car user allowance. 

“To be eligible for this role, candidates must have at minimum of 2 years’ experience directly  with Development Management, hold (or be working towards) membership of the RTPI and  able to demonstrate a track record of excellent service delivery, working to tight deadlines and  display strong communication and customer service skills.” 

RAF [square]Fun fact: The district of West Lindsey takes in some lively and picturesque places such as Market Rasen, famous for its racecourse, Caistor, formerly home to a Roman castrum or fortress, and the village of Scampton, which has been hogging headlines since March, when the Home Office announced its intention to turn RAF Scampton – former home of the Dambusters 617 Squadron  – into an immigration detention centre to house up to 2,000 asylum seekers. The site was the base for crews who flew the famous May 1943 German dam raids. 

The plan caused instant fury far beyond the village, with a Change Org. petition being set up. Campaigners believe that it would destroy plans to create a centre for the future aviation and space industry, generating thousands of jobs and a heritage centre to honour Scampton’s proud history.  
The first asylum seekers were due to arrive in October, but the plan is currently under judicial review. And this week, after more than five months of uncertainty, the Home Office has finally vowed to start engaging with local residents on the plans for RAF Scampton. It is hosting four community engagement events at the Lincolnshire Showground on 31 August, where residents will have the chance to quiz civil servants on the plans.

Find out more and apply

Image credits | Ben Gosling, iStock and Shutterstock