Grade 7 Senior Strategic Planning Officer (Oxford-Cambridge Arc / Spatial Framework) (2 posts)

Various UK locations
17 Dec 2020
17 Jan 2021
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Level

Summary of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc (the Arc) is a key economic priority for the Government and has the potential to be both a globally leading hub for innovation, and an exemplar of sustainable, well-designed development which puts communities and people first. This is why at Budget 2020, the Government announced the intention to develop, with local partners, a long-term spatial framework to plan strategically for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc up to 2050.

Job description

You will be part of new team responsible for delivering the Spatial Framework for the Arc. This is a unique opportunity to be involved with the development of a strategic plan with national visibility, in a globally-significant economic area – and to develop a world-leading, exemplar approach to regional strategic planning. This role will be instrumental in shaping and delivering the Spatial Framework, leading a sub-team to develop planning policy and ensuring an integrated approach to plan-making across the Arc.

You will be part of a new team, which will take a holistic approach to place-making, sustainability and economic growth, so you will work with colleagues across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Unit and MHCLG to ensure that the decisions being made, and agreements we reach with local partners, will benefit local people, businesses and the environment in the long-term.

The team will form part of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Unit, within MHCLG’s Housing Delivery Directorate, which reports to the Director General for Stronger Places.


• Lead a sub-team responsible for delivering planning policy in the OxCam Spatial Framework, which could include identification and testing of locations for new housing, commercial development, infrastructure, and environmental land management schemes and setting strategic policy to achieve sustainable objectives.

• Working with colleagues to ensure an integrated approach to plan-making on land use, transport, the economy, environment and infrastructure.

• Line management of at least one HTPO.

• As a senior member of the team, you may also be asked to lead on other areas of work.

We are looking for candidates who have the following skills:

• Strategic planning or place-making experience and expertise, and eligible for RTPI membership.

• A strategic thinker, with the ability to also get across the detail: you’ll need to understand and quality assure technical work, making it accessible to Ministers and general readers; and, to use evidence and sound judgement to shape policy.

• An effective and credible collaborator: you will build strong relationships and partnerships with colleagues within the Department, elsewhere in Whitehall, and with stakeholders, leading people to solve problems and deliver results.

• Organisational skills and ability to work with independence in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.

• Ability to demonstrate wider thought leadership on a policy area, and apply critical judgement and challenge.

• Ability to see the bigger picture, by making links and thinking creatively in order to position the work within the bigger picture and increase its influence, including in times of change.

Desirable experience:

• Awareness, experience or understanding of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc area and the unique opportunities and challenges it faces


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

Making Effective Decisions

Changing and Improving

Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

Technical skills to be assessed at interview stage (Through presentation)


Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester

How to apply:

We do not consider direct CV applications – you must apply for this role via the application link on Civil Service Jobs

Please click on the apply now button 

For any queries regarding the role please contact Edward Douglas by email: [email protected]