Planning Team Leader/Principal Planner

Maldon, Essex
£40523 - 45589 per year + 15% market supplement
15 Jan 2021
14 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Full Time
Planning, Town Planning

Planning Team Leader/Principal Planner

£40,523 - £45,589 per year + 15% market supplement


We are looking for a dynamic, focussed and experienced planner to be our Team Leader within the Development Management team (please note the job title will be: Senior Specialist Coordinator). The post holder will be one of the principal sources of Planning advice in the Council and act as both an operational and functional manager.

This is a rare and exceptional opportunity to provide leadership of an innovative team who were shortlisted for Local Authority Planning Team of the Year 2019 and to protect the intrinsic beauty of ‘The Times’ best countryside location and still be within easy reach of London.

As one of the most senior Development Management planners at Maldon District Council, you will play a pivotal role in leading a vibrant Development Management Service, providing professional advice and guidance to the team and their workload relating to all types of applications, appeals and planning enforcement.

Reporting to the Specialist Services Manager and Lead Specialist for Development Management, you will be expected to have a positive, solution-finding approach to work whilst achieving targets and meeting deadlines. You will present applications to the Planning Committee and represent the Council at appeals. As such you should have a sound and thorough knowledge, with extensive practical experience, of all aspects of the planning and the development process, particularly with regard to planning applications, appeals and planning enforcement.

As the team leader, you will be expected to provide line management for up to 10 Specialists with varying levels of planning experience and manage their day to day workload. This will typically involve dealing with requests for leave, sickness notifications, mileage and overtime claims, probationary reviews, 121s, team meetings and assisting with the recruitment of new Specialists. You will also have some involvement with Conservation & Heritage, Land Charges, Street Name & Numbering and Enforcement to support these teams in the delivery of their work.

You will be delivering projects, interventions and initiatives and develop policies (together with the Strategy teams) in-line with corporate and business plans. In addition, you will ensure and develop appropriate levels of quality and specialist knowledge within the Case Management and Customer Solutions teams, to ensure that enquiries and cases are managed and completed at the appropriate level.

About this role

  1. Deliver customer-focused development management advice and services, keeping up to date with current and emerging legislation, best practice and policy to ensure continuous development and improvement in services.
  2. Manage complex work that will require a detailed understanding of planning policy and associated processes, regulations and legislation.
  3. Oversee case allocation and workload management for all Specialists, with the aim of developing knowledge and experience within the team whilst also achieving performance targets and corporate objectives.
  4. Provide operational leadership for up to 10 Specialists ensuring officer requests are dealt with promptly and HR processes are followed in relation to absence management, recruitment and induction, performance management, timekeeping, flexible working, disciplinary and grievance, maternity/paternity leave etc.
  5. Provide functional leadership for all Development Management Specialists and Caseworkers, ensuring the provision of professional services that meet customer needs.
  6. Support, guide and advise multi-skilled service delivery teams (Customer Solutions and Case Management) on less complex cases related to Development Management.
  7. Prepare and present reports to council committees and other internal and external meetings.
  8. Assisting the development of the community of practice across the organisation including mentoring staff to improve delivery of the specialism and support career development.
  9. Ensure personal, professional development is maintained to the required standards

Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Oversee the day to day operational management of direct reports, following HR policies and processes
  • Complete 6-weekly one to ones with each member of staff and biannual appraisals in conjunction with the Senior Specialists
  • Support the Specialist Services Manager with performance monitoring, financial planning and input into service plans and other strategic documents or projects as requested
  • Ensure effective 2-way communication and feedback is promoted across all teams and important management updates are shared where appropriate
  • Encourage praise, peer to peer feedback and recognition of achievements
  • Provide professional planning leadership and management of staff within the Development Management Service including Planning Enforcement, with a clear emphasis on continuous improvement, performance delivery and customer service, under the direction of the Lead Specialist for Development Management and the Specialist Services Manager
  • At times, dealing with complex and major applications, ensuring validity, visiting sites, analysing planning history, carrying out consultations, assessment and drafting of recommendations within given timescales
  • Manage a personal caseload of all forms of planning and related matters, acting as role model for the team
  • Act as the gravitas role, including presenting reports at Planning Committee and other Authority meetings as required
  • Check reports and recommendations, signing off delegated decisions on all types of applications
  • Act as expert planning witness at public inquiries and to produce statements and proofs of evidence as required for appeals and court hearings
  • Lead and motivate members of the Planning team; monitor and review individual performances and assist in their continued professional development by carrying out case reviews, identifying priority cases when allocated and overseeing the preparation of regular individual performance figures to identify areas of concern and success
  • Demonstrate commitment to the value of the planning service to the delivery of The Local Plan and to act as advocate for the function both inside and outside the Authority
  • Ensure that the service demonstrates ongoing improvement on quality and performance standards
  • Manage complaints and FOIs effectively, fully addressing issues, learning lessons whilst robustly defending correct procedures and decisions
  • Deputise for the Lead Specialist for Development Management as required

You must have excellent report writing, communication and IT skills and have reliable internet connection.

You should hold a relevant qualification, preferably with full membership of the RTPI, and have at least 5 years’ experience in Development Management, with at least 2 years in a management or supervisory role.

You must also have at least 1 years’ experience of managing staff and associated performance or conduct related matters with a good working knowledge of HR policies and legislation, to include; absence management, recruitment and induction, performance management, timekeeping, flexible working, disciplinary and grievance, maternity/paternity leave etc.

For further information about the role, please contact Hannah Wheatley, Specialist Services Manager, on Tel: 01621 732646

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