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Principal Planner / Senior Planner

Sevenoaks District Council
Sevenoaks, Kent
£34,408 - £42,507
Closing date
17 Aug 2021

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Local Authority
Job Level
Planner, Principal, Senior
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Job Details

Salary: £34,408 - £42,507 plus an Essential Car User Allowance of up to £1,239
and a 10% Market Related Payment
Note: This is a career grade post.
Department: Development Management
Hours: Full time


We aim to deliver excellence. We are ambitious for our staff, our customers and our Council, so that we can help shape the District for future generations, to make Sevenoaks a great place to live, work and enjoy.

We are an award winning Council having achieved the Guardian Public Service Awards 2016 for being financially self-sufficient, are one of the few organisations in the country to retain its Platinum Investors in People status. We were voted LGC Council of the Year 2017 and won a Pushing the Boundaries of Innovation award in 2018. The successes of the Finance Team have been recently recognised where the Finance Team has been nominated and is a finalist in the 2020 Public Finance Awards – Finance Team of the Year - Councils. 

If you are passionate about planning, with proven planning experience, can demonstrate self-awareness and a strong sense of personal responsibility and have the potential or experience of what it means to be an inspirational leader, Sevenoaks can support you in taking the next steps in your career. We have an empowering culture, a focus on wellbeing and a dynamic and innovative approach.

The Role

This is a varied and rewarding role where you will contribute to the delivery and management of the service and deal with the most complex and strategic applications. You will engage with developers and other key stakeholders, to create great places, maintaining the character of the District, its heritage and protected landscapes whilst enabling new high quality developments in the busiest planning authority in Kent.

You will have:

  • The passion and experience to deliver an excellent planning service.
  • The approach and behaviour to be a positive role model for the service and your colleagues, inspiring and motivating others.
  • Confident presentation skills, with experience of presenting cases at appeal and liaising with Members.
  • You will have a post graduate qualification in Town Planning and ideally membership of the RTPI (or for a Senior Planner role, be ready to make your submission for full membership) and have a full driving licence with a vehicle available for work purposes.

Principal Planners will:

  • Be part of the Development Management Leadership Team.
  • Be Lead Officers for Development Control Committee.
  • Have direct line management responsibilities, taking the initiative to monitor, support and improve the quality of performance and behaviours of those that report to you.
  • Have some delegated powers for planning and other decisions.

We have recently promoted a number of our staff, following the successful completion of their planning qualifications and via our Career Grade. The vacant post will suit someone currently working within planning who is looking for the next step in their career, and is interested in working for a forward thinking, pioneering Council.

The Team

We have two large planning teams who have a variety of experience, working with an Enforcement and Support Team. They are loyal and committed and have a wealth of knowledge - we encourage regular meetings for shared learning and innovation, virtually and in person.

Other members of the team will look to you for inspiration and guidance in the processing of planning applications and appeals and therefore mentoring skills are desirable. Principal Planners have a supervisory role and assist Development Managers to improve the quality of the service, procedures and performance. By joining the team you will actively seek to add value, and in return, you will be given every opportunity to develop and progress your career.

Feel free to contact us to have a chat about the role, and find out more about who we are, the work we’ve been doing over the last year and some of the projects we are working on now. Call Alison Salter on 01732 227337 or Aaron Hill on 01732 227494.

Meet the team! - watch this short video to find out more about our Planning Team.

Why Sevenoaks?

As a Platinum Award winning Investors in People employer - the first council and public sector employer to be accredited with this award - we will provide appropriate training and development opportunities for this role. In particular, you will be encouraged to attend training courses and events such as the Young Planners Conference, should you wish, which can also help you develop your networks.

We have world class tourist attractions and are within two Areas of Outstanding Natural beauty, yet we are just half an hour from central London by train with good links to the A21, M25 and M20. 

Based at Argyle Road in Sevenoaks, working at the very heart of the Council, we can offer you an excellent benefits package that includes flexible working hours, up to 30 days annual leave (with an additional five days depending on length of local government service), the flexibility of buying or selling additional leave, pension scheme, tax free childcare scheme and discounted membership at council leisure facilities. We also offer a discounted electric vehicle scheme and access to season ticket loans for travel on national rail services up to £5,000.

Details of the full range of staff benefits offered can be seen in the document attached.

To find out more please visit

Closing date: Tuesday 17 August 2021

Interview date: Wednesday 25 August 2021 (May be by Video Call using Zoom – to be confirmed)

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