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The Friday Five 26.04.24

Written by: Planner Team
Published on: 26 Apr 2024

It's The Friday Five, our weekly round-up of five of the best jobs currently advertised on Planner Jobs – plus a selection of place-based facts to amuse and educate. This week, opportunities inMatlock, Ely, Cambridgeshire,  Midlands, Portsmouth, Hampshire and  Council House, Corporation St, Derby.


Location: Derbyshire Dales, Matlock

The job: “The successful candidate will be qualified in planning or architectural history and preferably be a holder of a post graduate qualification in urban design or building conservation. They will need to have excellent communication and negotiation skills and the ability to contribute to a high-quality service to our customers.  We would also expect the successful candidate to have had at least 3 years’ experience working in the historic environment and to have developed extensive knowledge of conservation and historic building law, practice and procedures.”

cAVE, DERBYSHIRE  [square]Fun fact: Matlock's Underground World: Beneath the serene surface of Matlock lies a network of limestone caverns known as the Heights of Abraham. These caverns offer a fascinating glimpse into the underground world, featuring guided tours through illuminated passageways, vast chambers, and even an underground river. It's a surreal experience, showcasing the geological wonders hidden beneath the town.

Find out more and apply



Location: Ely, Cambridgeshire

The job: “You’ll be joining us at a pivotal time as we embrace the latest technology to transform  this already excellent service into one that is digital first, customer-focused and efficient. 

“Leading a dedicated and diligent team, you’ll bring a blend of strategic oversight, a  customer-focused approach and exceptional relationship and operational management  to this busy and varied role.

“You’ll also have the skills and expertise to manage conservation, enforcement and  technical support services, ensuring correct procedures are followed, deadlines are met  and working practices regularly reviewed.”

GB [square]Fun fact: If you visit Ely, or indeed any of the surrounding area, the city’s cathedral is also impossible to miss. Ely Cathedral sits at the crest of a 23-square-mile, 85 foot tall clay island, and is visible for miles around, thanks to the incredibly flat Fen landscape. The cathedral, with its distinctive octagonal tower, is known as ‘the ship of the Fens’. 

 The earliest parts of the present building date to 1083. The cathedral is built from stone quarried in Barnack, Northamptonshire, for the sum of 8,000 eels a year, which sounds like a lot (although not much literature about the mediaeval eel-to-GBP exchange rate seems to exist). It’s important to remember, though, that the area was so plentiful in eels the city actually took its name from the slippery marsh-dwellers. 

Even if you’ve never been to the area, music aficionados might still recognise the cathedral. It sits in the background of the cover artwork for Pink Floyd’s 1994 album The Division Bell. The cathedral is just visible between the mouths of the enormous, double-decker bus sized head sculptures on the album cover, which were erected in one of those characteristic flat Fen fields by art director Storm Thorgerson. 

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Location: Midlands

The job: “We will value your contributions, give you access to a free healthcare cash plan and benefits, offer a very generous 26-32 days holiday package (rising incrementally each year and exclusive of public bank holidays) and give you the option to purchase additional annual leave tax-free. We will double your monthly pension contributions and provide the option to join our shared cost AVC scheme, offer discounted car parking of around £4 per month, and family friendly policies.  All new employees will be able to choose a welcome gift from the following options; 4 months free BPL gym membership, 1 year National Trust membership and many more options. We also offer hybrid working arrangements of partial home/office working.”

Worksop [square]Fun fact: Bassetlaw district was created in April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It covers two former districts and the majority of another two, which were all abolished at the same time:

    •    East Retford Municipal Borough.
    •    East Retford Rural District (except Finningley parish, which went to Doncaster).
    •    Worksop Municipal Borough.
    •    Worksop Rural District (Harworth parish, which went to Doncaster and was added to the parish of Bawtry).

The district was named Bassetlaw after the mediaeval Bassetlaw Wapentake.

The council is based in the town of Worksop. Running through Worksop is the River Ryton. Much of the river's route is rural, but its course through Worksop is man made and was used to power mills for centuries. Three water mills were mentioned in an 1826 survey; one near the present junction of Westgate and Newcastle Avenue, one called Priory Mill, and a third called Bracebridge mill. All had ceased to operate by 1826.

A new water mill was constructed further to the west, near to the present junction of Newcastle Avenue and the A57 Worksop bypass. It was known as Beard's mill, after its owner Mr Joseph Beard. This mill building was demolished in 1985 to takeaway for the Worksop bypass.

The River Ryton through Worksop originally flowed much nearer to Castle Hill, and potentially formed part of the defences, but was diverted in 1842 into a channel further north when the 4th Duke of Newcastle constructed Newcastle Street, in order to develop that part of the town. The river is culverted as it passes under a shopping complex and the shops of Bridge Street.

It passes the derelict grade II listed Italianate pumping station, which was built in 1881 to pump sewage away from Worksop.

The River Ryton supplies water to the Chesterfield Canal through two feeders, and a number of the bridges which cross it are Listed structures.

 Find out more and apply


Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

The job: “Through working with our partners in South Hampshire we are the only region to identify a solution to the 'nitrates problem' but this has left us with a legacy of a backlog of applications, exacerbated by the challenges of service delivery during Covid.  You will have the opportunity to shape a Development Management service to deliver efficient, sustainable decision making while delivering strategic scale place making developments.

Portsmouth  [square]Fun fact: Whatever you do, don’t call Portsmouth a constituent part of… Solent City! Over the years we’ve seen various attempts to close the gap between Southampton and Portsmouth to create a sprawling place with that name, the 1960s development of the M27 motorway seemingly set to bind the two together. And while in 1997 both cities became unitary authorities, there has been growing tension between them and Hampshire County Council as the two cities have grown in size. Also, various attempts at a South Hampshire or Solent City devolution deal have been made over the years with the concept of a ‘southern powerhouse’ indeed discussed.

But for all the talk, and there is some substance, there is also a general antipathy towards the idea with these issues of local identity often finding their form through local football supporters. No one would like Portsmouth FC and Southampton FC getting together in some kind of ‘Southmouth FC ’ monster, much as Everton and Liverpool forming Merseyside United would rankle more than just a little. It was certainly discussed, though, much as the idea of the Thames Valley Royals - the combined Reading and Oxford United football clubs - got short shrift from the locals. 

 Find out more and apply


Location: Council House, Corporation St, Derby

The job: “The post holder will provide strategic leadership and management support for the group, including managing its budget, and will lead on joint working with partner authorities, which includes preparing aligned local plans within the Derby Housing Market Area and the preparation of a Joint Minerals and a Joint Waste Local Plan with Derbyshire County Council.

“You should have a degree in Town and Country Planning (or Equivalent) and membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute and, ideally, also a qualification in management such as a DMS.”

Ashbourne [square]Fun fact: If you asked most people about Derby’s biggest footballing disaster, they’d probably point to Derby County’s disastrous 2007/08 season; the Rams only won one game, collected a record-low 11 points, and manager Billy Davies took to referring to himself in the third person (“Look at the stats of Davies, and what he was employed to do”, he roared defiantly to
The Daily Mail in 2016).

That season is far from the worst footballing farrago the city has seen. Derby used to be a hotspot for Shrovetide football, a mediaeval ‘sport’ with only a passing resemblance to the beautiful game. As early as the 12th century, townspeople would gather in the market place in enormous teams at Shrovetide (the period before Lent), and attempt to kick an inflated pig’s bladder to either St Peter's or All Saints parish. Essentially any means, short of murder or manslaughter, were allowed to stop the other team carrying the ball to their own parish. 

This all reached a head in the Victorian period, when, in 1846, the game was banned in Derby, after the town's Mayor was "stuck on the shoulder by a brick-bat, hurled by some ferocious ruffian, and severely bruised". The police burst the ball, but some enterprising soul got their hands on another pig’s bladder, and the game continued. 

If your bloodlust isn’t sated by modern football, then Ashbourne- just down the road from Derby, still play the ‘Royal Shrovetide Football Match’ every Ash Wednesday. 

Find out more and apply

Image credits | SevenMaps Shutterstock, RobertColquhoun Shutterstock, Brookgardener Shutterstock, Sergey Goryachev Shutterstock, Ian Francis Shutterstock