Principal Planner – Major Development & Appeals

Witney, West Oxfordshire
Up to circa £45,000 per annum, depending on skills and experience
28 Mar 2018
22 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Level
Planner, Principal


An exciting and challenging opportunity to handle strategic and complex planning cases, and mentor a highly motivated team.  Do you want to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of a dynamic and ambitious area?  Do you want to make decisions that affect how people live in a positive way, supporting new jobs and homes whilst protecting the environment?  

If so, Publica is seeking to fill an important role that is part of a supportive and high performing team planning the future of a beautiful part of the country. 

* Applications for part-time work and job share are welcome


  • To act as a case officer for significant and/or complex planning cases, in accordance with statutory procedures and established office practices, making sure that there is effective negotiation of potential developer contributions towards social and physical infrastructure.
  • To provide effective pre-application advice taking advantage of opportunities to enhance development proposals.
  • To prepare for and present the Council’s case on selected appeals for significant and/or complex planning cases.
  • Responsibility for line management, supervision and development of appropriate staff.

Essential requirements

  • A relevant degree or diploma in Town and Country Planning or equivalent
  • (Qualification/eligibility for) Membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or similar professional body
  • Substantial experience in development management, including significant experience in all aspects of processing planning applications, including Section 106 negotiation, hearings and public inquiries
  • Substantial experience in attending and presenting to planning and other committees
  • Proven supervisory experience in planning including experience in developing staff
  • Excellent knowledge of planning law and practice
  • Knowledge of MS applications and including Word and Access

Desirable requirements

  • Knowledge of modernising agenda for local government
  • Experience of contributing to corporate issues and projects
  • Experience of dealing with a changing working environment

Successful Applicant

The successful applicant will have the skills and expertise to handle the most challenging of planning cases for West Oxfordshire.  They will have high level communication and negotiating skills to work effectively with applicants and local communities.  They will also need the ability to plan and manage a complex and demanding workload, and mentor less experienced colleagues. They will need to travel and have access to a car; applications for part-time work and job share are welcome.

Please note:

  • To apply for this vacancy please email your CV with supporting statement; telling us more about your skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience and how they meet the criteria listed above. It’s important that we’re a good fit for each other, so we’d also like to know what’s important to you about working for Publica.
  • All successful applicants will need to provide evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK.
  • If you do not hear from us within four weeks of the closing date, unfortunately your application has not been successful on this occasion.

To apply please click on the 'Apply Button'

Closing date: 22nd April 2018

Interview date: 2nd May 2018

Four partner Councils Cheltenham Borough Council, Forest of Dean, Cotswold and West Oxfordshire District Councils have created Publica Group Ltd to deliver more efficient and improved services.

West Oxfordshire District Council offers the opportunity to work within one of the most beautiful parts of the country with over 3,200 listed buildings, multiple Conservation Areas, a World Heritage site, Green Belt, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a proposed Garden Village.

We are based in the historic and vibrant market town of Witney which offers a good range of quality services and facilities and affords easy access to Oxford, London and the South-East. You would be joining a high performing, supportive team dealing with all aspects of processing planning and similar applications, dealing with applicants, agents, Councillors and members of the public. You will have or be studying for a degree or diploma in Town and Country Planning or a related discipline; however candidates with suitable alternative experience in a related role will also be considered. The starting salary will be dependent upon your qualifications and experience.

Four partner Councils: Cheltenham Borough Council, Forest of Dean, Cotswold and West Oxfordshire District Councils have created Publica Group Ltd to deliver improved services. In November 2017, employees from Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils, transferred into Publica although they continue to provide services for local residents. The Councils continue to be responsible for the standard of services that are provided as well as setting strategy, policy and making decisions.