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The Friday Five 28.04.23

Published on: 28 Apr 2023

It's the Friday Five, our weekly round-up of the best town planning jobs on Planner jobs this week. Oh, and some fun place-based facts. This week, opportunities in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Essex, Preston and Winchester; and the macabre history of Death Junction. Read on...


Location: Edinburgh

The job: “Homes for Scotland ( is the voice of the home building sector, representing some 200 organisations which together provide the majority of all new homes.

“The post holder will operate within the context of Homes for Scotland’s (HFS’s) strategy, values and operating procedures, as directed by the senior management team and board. Working as part of the HFS planning team you will:

  • Build and maintain ongoing dialogue with local authority planning services 

  • Review and prepare evidenced responses to local consultations 

  • Engage and work collaboratively with local authorities on their housing land audits

  • Programme manage local and regional casework 

  • And more

Encyclopaedia Britannica [square]Fun fact: The Encyclopaedia Britannica, the oldest English language general encyclopedia, originated in Edinburgh and was first published in 1768.

The brainchild of printer Colin Macfarquhar and engraver Andrew Bell, it was initially published in 100 weekly instalments, from December 1768, and then a three-volume set in 1771.

Its first editor was William Smellie, a printer, naturalist and antiquary who co-founded the Royal Society of Edinburgh and edited the Scots Magazine. The first edition of the encyclopedia adopted two themes – modern science and Scottish identity – and its articles could be extremely long (running to tens of pages). 

Smellie’s declaration that “utility ought to be the principle intention of every publication” remains the motto of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Even so, it’s hard to square that with some of the entries in the first edition. His article on ‘Woman’, for example, was four words long: ‘The female of man’. He claimed that smoking tobacco “dried up the brain to a little black lump” and that farriers were “men who are totally ignorant of anatomy, and the general principles of medicine”.

The Encyclopædia has remained in print continuously.

Find out more and apply


Location: Cardiff

The job: “Senior town planner role is available with a rapidly growing planning consultancy in their office in Cardiff. You'll be tasked with working closely with the Cardiff planning team of 10 people.

“The consultancy has five regional offices, in South Wales, London, the North West, Yorkshire and the North East and covers planning for the residential, education, retail, defence, energy, leisure and healthcare sectors.

“As a senior town planner, you will:

  • Take a senior position on all projects

  • Manage project budgets

  • Provide advice on infrastructure planning

  • Negotiate, draft, and provide legal instructions to facilitate the preparation of planning agreements and infrastructure funding deeds with industry, agencies, and councils, as required

  • Meet company expectations regarding fee earning targets

  • Optimise new business and cross-selling opportunities.”

Gallows [square]Fun fact: Like all cities, there are some rather macabre aspects to Cardiff’s history, but few are in such plain sight as ‘Death Junction’ in Cardiff. On the surface of it, the point where Albany, Richmond, City and Crwys roads meet would seem to be so-named because it’s treacherous and hard to navigate. 
But the name may also recall the area’s gruesome history – for Death Junction is also the junction of several fields where wrongdoers were executed and their bodies dumped. 

The fields were known as Gallows Field, Defiled Pool, Cut Throats and Putrid Field. Famously, in 1679, two Catholic priests, Philip Evans and John Lloyd, were taken to Gallows Field and hung, drawn and quartered for treason. They were declared saints by Pope Paul VI in 1970. 

Find out more and apply


Location: Stebbing, Essex

The job: “Andrew Martin – Planning (AM-P) is an independent planning, urban design and development practice, established in 2012. The office is based in Stebbing, between Great Dunmow and Braintree, Essex.
“We are now seeking candidates to assist in progressing existing and new projects involving major strategic site promotion through the plan-making process, preparation and management of planning applications and appeals for a wide variety of proposals, including initial feasibility studies and appraisals, input into EIAs, community engagement and general planning problem solving.

“We will consider candidates who are currently studying or propose to study for a planning degree or those who have another RTPI recognised degree pursuing a postgraduate degree/diploma through the Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship scheme. We will also consider candidates who wish to pursue the RTPI Apprenticeship Level 7 pathway.”

Trondheim Cathedral [square]Fun fact: St Mary’s Church in Stebbing is not only a grade I listed 14th-century church but home to one of just three stone carved rood screens in Europe. The other two are in nearby Great Bardfield and Trondheim in Norway (pictured).

A rood screen?

Rood screens are a common feature in late medieval churches and are most likely to survive in what are now Anglican and Lutheran Churches. They’re basically ornately carved and decorated screens that separate the nave from the chancel in a church and the ones that survive are typically made of wood or wrought iron. Stone ones are extremely rare.

But why the name ‘rood’? Well, the screen would have been topped by a ‘rood loft’ carrying the ‘Great Rood’, a sculptural representation of the crucifixion. Rood or rode is the Old English word meaning ‘cross’.

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Location: Preston, Lancs

The job: “Preston is at an unprecedented stage in its development. With over £20m of Towns Fund grant, major leisure and public realm projects underway, a new commercial quarter planned at Preston station and the ongoing implementation of the multi-award-winning City Living Strategy alongside the delivery of thousands of new homes and major infrastructure investment, Preston has developed a new confidence for positive change.

“Preston was jointly commended as the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Planning Authority Team of the Year 2021 and we are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated and well organised individual to take up a planning officer role within the development management team.

“In this role you will deal with a range of planning applications for development proposals across the city. As such you should have excellent communication and negotiation skills. The role will require you to have knowledge of the planning system as well as current planning legislation, policies and procedures. You will be able to act on your own initiative and have the ability to prioritise and work to deadlines.”

Beano [square]Fun fact: The Bash Street Kids, Minnie the Minx, The Three Bears, Little Plum – all owe their existence to one of the great British comic artists, Leo Baxendale, who was born near Preston in 1930.

After serving in the RAF, Baxendale got a job as an artist for the Lancashire Evening Post, drawing adverts and cartoons. By 1952, he was freelancing for DC Thompson, publisher of The Beano, and created a number of highly popular strips, including Minnie the Minx and The Bash Street Kids. After 10 years he moved on, and for the next 13 years created new children’s comics and characters for other publishers.

From there he started working on more adult-orientated comics and eventually set up his own publishing house in the 1980s. He’d actually produced more ‘grown-up’ publications previously – in the 1960s he published a weekly anti-war newsletter which he sent to Labour MPs. He died in 2017, aged 86.

Find out more and apply


Location: Winchester, Hants

The job: “This employee-owned company’s dynamic team of town planners, architects, urban designers and ecologists offers services across the UK from their two bases in Hampshire and Berkshire.

“The team offers a single service, or an integrated package of services, from strategic planning, master planning and appeals through to building design, building regulations, construction detailing, building contract administration, also including habitat surveys, ecological assessment, and mitigation strategies.

“The successful candidate will ideally meet the following requirements:

  • Proven track record and relevant experience at planner or senior level

  • Professional attitude and team player

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Good IT skills

  • Full, clean driving licence and own car essential.

  • RTPI accredited degree in town planning or equivalent

  • A member of a relevant professional body, or working towards membership, i.e. RTPI, RIBA.”

Winchester [square]Fun fact: The origins of place names, as you well know, is a staple interest of The Friday Five. So let’s take a look at Winchester, which has been through several incarnations since it was first inhabited in the pre-Roman area. Its first recorded name is thought to be Wentā or Uentā, a Celtic word for ‘meeting place’ or ‘favoured place’.

The Romans named it Venta Belgarum – after its Celtic name and the name of the tribe that occupied the settlement, the Belgae: so, ‘place of the Belgae’, basically. Under Roman rule, Venta Belgarum became one of the most important settlements in Britain, but with the collapse of the Roman Empire it was abandoned.

It was rediscovered by the Anglo Saxons as they pressed westward into the former Roman colony. The newcomers were in the habit of calling former Roman settlements caester and this survives in many contemporary place names – Lancaster, Chester, and so on.

So, Winchester recalls both the original Celtic name Wentā and the Saxon caester as a reminder of its Roman roots, too. Basically, it’s a Saxon name for a Roman town built over a Celtic meeting place: three distinct cultures and historical periods distilled into a single place name. Marvellous.

Find out more and apply

Image credits | Proxima Centauri, Shutterstock; Martin Mehes, Shutterstock; iStock; Mundissima, Shutterstock; Sterling Images, Shutterstock