Skip to main content

The Friday Five 27.10.23

Published on: 27 Oct 2023

It's the Friday Five, our weekly selection of five of the best jobs advertised on Planner Jobs this week – plus some place-based facts to amuse, educate and entertain. This week, opportunities in Dublin, West Bridgford, Bridgend, Belfast and Teignbridge - and tales of the world's oldest maternity hospital, 'bread and lard' island, Linenopolis and the last successful armed invasion of England.


Location: Dublin

The job: "An Bord Pleanála plays a critical role in the Irish planning system deciding appeals of planning decisions made by local authorities, direct applications for strategic infrastructure and other categories of development under the suite of Planning and Development Acts and other Acts, including new functions under the Maritime Area Planning Act 2021. An Bord Pleanála is a quasi-judicial body with a mandate to provide high quality professional planning assessments and independent decisions in a timely manner having regard to the principles of transparency, impartiality, and independence.

"An Bord Pleanála are looking to fill 10 positions across a variety of specialist fields. These will be five year appointments with the possibility of being reappointed for a second term. The role of the ordinary board member is to contribute to the delivery of high-quality decisions on planning appeals and applications in a timely manner and to oversee overall corporate governance of the organisation."

Rotunda Hospital [square]Fun fact: The Rotunda Hospital in Dublin is the oldest continuously operating maternity hospital in the world. It was founded in 1745 by Bartholomew Mosse, a surgeon and midwife who was appalled by the conditions in which women were going through their pregnancies and giving birth.

It was an immediate success, receiving royal assent in 1756, and Mosse set about raising funds for a purpose-built home through concerts, exhibitions and even a lottery. The hospital moved to new premises in 1757 and became known as the The New Lying-In Hospital – lying-in being the archaic term for giving birth. In fact, the hospital’s full legal name is the Hospital for the Relief of Poor Lying-in Women, Dublin. 

By the 1790s, the hospital was known as the Rotunda, after its most noted architectural feature, and it was developing practices that reduced infant mortality. In 1781, it was found that one in six babies died within nine days of birth. By making improvements to ventilation, that number had been reduced to one in 20 within five years – and the hospital remained at the vanguard of improvements in sanitation and hygiene through the 19th century.

The hospital still operates on Parnell Street and it’s estimated that some 300,000 babies have been born there.

Find out more and apply


Location: West Bridgford, Nottingham/ Hybrid

The job: "Working in the development management team, you will be an experienced professional planner possessing a high level of personal drive, a commitment to excellent customer care and strong interpersonal skills, in order to manage a large caseload of planning applications for a full range of developments, which the County Council has the responsibility to determine as the minerals and waste planning authority (including EIA development), as well as applications for the County Council’s own development projects.

"The varied work will allow you to apply transferrable skills you have gained from dealing with larger and complex planning developments either in a county or district planning authority, or experience from relevant planning work outside of local government. The workload will include representing the County Council at any public inquiries or hearings related to your caseload."

Bread and lard [square]Fun fact: West Bridgford is a district just south of Nottingham city centre – on the other bank of the River Trent – that was once known sarcastically as ‘Bread and Lard Island’. This name was given on account of its development as a high-status estate – the implication being that the people living there had spent so much on their homes that they could afford only to live on bread and lard.

In the 19th century it had been just a small village with plenty of open green space that gave rise to the development of Trent Bridge cricket ground. After the First World War, the Musters family, which owned the land around the cricket club, sold it for development – but only after stipulating that the builder observe strict planning regulations. 

Thus, the original West Bradford Estate was built to a grid plan, with tree-lined roads and restrictions on housing density and size on main roads and a requirement that all homes have a specific number of bedrooms. Smaller houses were allowed on side roads and some terraces were built to house the servants of the wealthy merchants who had bought property in the district – paying through the nose for exclusivity, it would seem.

By 2018, the district’s population had grown to 48,000 and it’s now linked to Nottingham City Centre by two road bridges and a pedestrian bridge. Trent Bridge remains home to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, but has been joined also by Nottingham Forest FC's City Ground.

Find out more and apply


Location: Bridgend, Wales/ Hybrid

The job:  "We are looking for highly motivated person with proven experience of the development control/management system in Wales. Your primary focus will be the processing of a complex and varied caseload in an efficient and timely manner and providing professional pre-application advice to developers in line with statutory deadlines.

"The replacement local development plan is due to be adopted in late 2023/early 2024 and the postholder will be involved with project managing a major planning application on a mixed-use strategic development site.

"This is a responsible role within the section with the opportunity to present at development control committee meetings, supervise and mentor junior members of staff and deputise for the principal planning officer where necessary.

"You will help to ensure that the service continues to make a full contribution to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Bridgend County Borough and maintain the local planning authority’s reputation for planning excellence."

Rugby ball [square]Fun fact: Bridgend – historically a part of Glamorgan, Wales – is famed for its production of top-class rugby players. Brynteg School alone has (by Wikipedia’s reckoning at least) produced 18 notable rugby union players, many of them capped at full international level. 

Two names stand out. First, JPR Williams, an icon of the 1970s game, with flowing hair, impressive sideburns, socks around the ankles and heavy, rain-soaked cotton shirt. 

Another recognisable name, a no less talented player, arguably: Gavin Henson. Henson, with his tan, noticeably tighter playing shirt, and seemingly permanent residency in mid-2000s gossip pages, seemed a world away from the amateur game of the 1970s. 

Rugby’s formerly amateur status provided some charming quirks, however. Williams, for example, was a fascinating character – he balanced his career as an elite sportsman with a sideline in orthopaedic surgery. Williams was a gifted tennis player, and ballet dancer, apparently, but rugby won out as its amateur nature meant he could carry on his medical practice. 

That’s not to say that Williams wasn’t a celebrity, though. “I used to do two ward rounds, the proper one with the consultant and then I’d go back and do an autograph round,” he once told an audience at Hay Festival. “It could be a bit of a dash to the consultant’s ego when the patients are more interested to see me than them.”

Find out more and apply


Location: Belfast

The job: "The Department of Justice (DoJ) is seeking to appoint a principal commissioner to The Planning and Water Appeals Commissions (PACWAC).

"The Planning Appeals Commission and Water Appeals Commissions are tribunal non-departmental public bodies sponsored by the DoJ and are administratively supported by the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service, an agency within the DoJ. They have a range of statutory functions relating to planning and environmental matters.

"The post of principal commissioner requires strong leadership skills, as well as a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of planning policy and legislation as it is applied within a tribunal context. It is a highly pressurised role which requires personal commitment and drive for the achievement of results."

Belfast [square]Fun fact: Linenopolis. No, not an imaginary city in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the former nickname for Belfast which was, at the turn of the 20th century, the largest producer of linen in the world. Indeed, the city's economy was underpinned by two industries: linen manufacture and shipbuilding.

In the 1900s and 1910s linen production employed more than 100,000 people, mainly women (including your author’s grandmother and her sisters). Post-First World War, the advent of cheap, mass-produced cotton clothing initiated the erosion of the industry, this was exacerbated by the civil unrest that troubled the city from the 1960s onward.

Many of the city’s linen ‘houses’ were based in what has now become known as Linen Quarter behind City Hall. This historic part of the city houses a number of Belfast’s attractions, including the Grand Opera House and the Grand Central Observatory. More recently, it has become the focal point for regeneration, which has seen it develop into one of the city’s most vibrant areas.

But the linen trade is remembered also in the famous Linen Hall Library in the city centre. Founded in 1788 as the Belfast Library and Society for Promoting Knowledge, the Linen Hall houses important collections, including the National Collection of Northern Ireland publications, the Literary Archive and the Political Collection, which is considered the foremost source of publications related to ‘The Troubles’, with more than 350,000 items.

Find out more and apply


Location: Teignbridge, Devon/ Hybrid

The job: "This is an exciting opportunity for you to join our well-established development management team of professional planning officers and technical/administrative support staff who work closely together to improve the quality of the built and natural environment across the district. 

"This role will be working in the major projects team on a case load of large-scale applications, dealing with all stages of the development management process giving pre-application advice, making site visits, writing reports, making recommendations, discharging conditions and representing the council in appeals and at planning committee.

"We are a values-based organisation all working together to achieve our vision of 'Making Teignbridge a healthy and desirable place where people want to live, work and visit'.  We do this by taking personal ownership for the quality of the work we do, the quality of the relationships we develop and for driving improvements in our services."

William of Orange statue [square]Fun fact: On 6 November 1688, the small market town of Newton Abbot witnessed what was arguably one of the most important events in English history. It was here that the invading Dutch nobleman William of Orange chose to have publicly read the declaration of his reason for invading England and his purpose to protect the Protestant religion.

The pretender to the English throne had landed at Brixham the previous day with an extraordinary force of 463 ships with 40,000 men on board, including 9,500 sailors, 11,000 foot soldiers, 4,000 cavalry and 5,000 English and Huguenot volunteers. This was bigger than the Spanish Armada invading force of a century before.

William met virtually no resistance on his march to London and subsequent coronation as the new – Protestant – king of England, He had invaded at the ‘invitation’ of a number of prominent Protestant political figures and his arrival prompted mass defections of Protestant soldiers from the Catholic King James's English army. James was allowed to flee; William was welcomed into the capital and crowned king in April 1689. It was the last successful invasion of England by force of arms.

A tone engraving on the market cross in the centre of Newton Abbot marks the spot from where the declaration that changed the course of English history was read. 

Find out more and apply

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