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Director of Planning at Homes for Scotland

Homes for Scotland
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
Closing date
15 Dec 2021

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Contract Type
Full Time
Job Level
Housing, Planning, Policy and Strategy, Town Planning
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Job Details

Love where you work! Use your passion and knowledge of planning to help increase the supply of much-needed high-quality new homes, across Scotland.  Make a positive impact on society and love where you work - let’s face it, it makes life so much better when you do.

Why we need you

The housing industry needs a supportive operational environment to ensure that the substantial social and economic benefits associated with delivering more homes can be realised.  Planning policy and practice lies at the very heart of this. More than ever, we need to be building and sustaining positive working relationships with politicians and senior civil servants; local authority planning teams; regional partnerships and other external stakeholders. We take a collaborative approach to removing barriers to achieving a wide range of positive policy outcomes through the delivery of more new homes.

Homes for Scotland (HFS) represents c200 organisations which together deliver the vast majority of new homes in Scotland. Its membership includes both private builders and RSLs, as well as associate members drawn from the supporting sectors and professional services.

Following the imminent departure of our current Director of Planning, we are seeking a dynamic individual with energy and enthusiasm to lead our planning function. Play your part to help us address the long-term vision for housing, the transition to net zero and evolving planning reform. 

Working in our small and impactful team you’ll experience a supportive environment with enthusiastic and experienced people. You will drive forward our national planning agenda and build strong, positive relationships with all those involved in housing delivery across Scotland. You must be passionate about the delivery of more homes of all tenures and be knowledgeable about how the Scottish planning and broader regulatory system can have an impact on that delivery.  

Job description

As part of the senior management team, you will work closely with the Chief Executive and others to provide support for the corporate operation of the company, in line with requirements of the Board and wider membership. HFS has a 5-year strategic plan that is currently being refreshed. You will provide strategic and operational leadership to the planning team, ensuring that the activities support the delivery of our strategic objectives. You will contribute to the overall development and management of HFS and will pay a key role in the external representation of the company and our members.

Key responsibilities

Planning Policy

  • To promote the interests of our members in all aspects of national, regional and local planning policy relating to the release of land for housing; land reform; the design and layout of housing developments; the move towards net zero; and the provision of supporting infrastructure. Scotland is at a pivotal point in national planning policy making, and you will be required to represent our members interests and ensure that decision makers create policies that help the industry to deliver more homes for the people of Scotland.
  • To lead a team of professional planners who work on regional and local planning issues, from housing land audits to hearings for local development plans and everything in between.
  • Ensure that planning policy positions, lobbying activities and consultation responses are evidence based, informed by members and supported by the Board, Planning Forum and wider membership.
  • Keep the Chief Executive, Board and members up to date with key external planning policy developments and lead the formulation of an HFS position and response.
  • Represent HFS and promote our objectives to external audiences, including senior civil servants, politicians and other stakeholders

Member liaison and Business Development

  • Meet regularly with members to offer advice, support and explain HFS activities and gain an in-depth understanding of issues affecting members across the country
  • Seek out and actively meet prospective new members and encourage them to join the organisation
  • Working with colleagues, play a lead role in the development, promotion and delivery of events and conferences
  • Provide support and advice to members on all issues within the planning remit

External Representation

  • Represent HFS on key working groups and committees, as well as at meetings with senior civil servants, politicians and ministers
  • Represent the HFS planning policy position at conferences and seminars as appropriate
  • Provide written and oral evidence to Government and other bodies on matters within the planning remit
  • Act as media spokesperson for HFS, as and when required, ensuring it maintains its position as the leading authority on homebuilding in Scotland
  • Identify and build relationships with key stakeholders within local and national government, social policy networks and pressure groups to further advance HFS’s strategic aims
  • Work closely with Head of Public Affairs to provide content for press enquiries, releases and member communications, always ensuring that messaging aligns with the Strategy

Communication and Campaigning

  • Identify emerging issues, planning policy or campaign priorities and new areas for development of influencing activity, in line with the strategic objectives
  • Ensure that all opportunities to influence planning policy and practice are effectively used across the organisation

Corporate Leadership

  • Provide visible leadership to HFS staff, helping to create a supportive, professional and effective working culture
  • Attend meetings of HFS’s Board, and other Committees as appropriate, providing high quality advice and proposing planning policy options as required
  • Deputise as and when required for the Chief Executive
  • Ensure the proper management, reporting and reforecasting of budgets under the department control, participating in budget and financial management

Person Specification


  • Degree or postgraduate in planning related discipline and Member of the RTPI
  • Proven leadership experience of managing and motivating teams
  • Good commercial awareness and experience in residential development together with extensive knowledge and practical experience of Scottish planning law and policy
  • Experience of stakeholder engagement and collaboration with the ability to establish and maintain strong relationships
  • Experience of working with professionals from across the public and private sectors
  • Well-developed organisational and planning skills
  • Ability to filter information and assess priorities
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal and written communication skills
  • Outstanding attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines
  • Driving licence holder and access to a car for business travel


  • Experience in more than one area of planning practice 
  • Experience in both public and private sectors 

In return for your passion and collaboration

This full-time position includes a competitive salary, car allowance and bonus scheme, with employer’s pension contributions, private life cover, health cash plan, health insurance and cycle to work schemes also offered. 

This role is predominantly based in our Edinburgh office, with some flexibility for home working. As one of the leaders of our small, dynamic team, in person support for colleagues is expected. Regular external meetings with members and stakeholders means that the ability to travel is required, predominantly around Scotland, but occasionally elsewhere.  


Please submit a statement on no more than 2 sides of A4 setting out why you are the right candidate for the job, along with an up-to-date CV, including current salary package details to

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 17 December 2021. Interviews will be held in January 2022.

Further Information

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive via 0131 455 8350.


Homes for Scotland is the voice of the Scottish home building industry, representing companies delivering 95% of new homes built for sale as well as a significant proportion of affordable housing.

We are committed to improving the quality of living in Scotland by providing this and future generations of Scots with warm, energy-efficient, sustainable homes in places people WANT to live. 

Our aim is to foster the conditions necessary to enable the home building industry to prosper and make a significant contribution to Scotland's social, economic and environmental well-being. 

Homes for Scotland challenges policy and decision-makers on behalf of our industry and the many thousands of Scots looking for a new home.

Find Us
0131 455 8350
5 New Mart Place
EH14 1RW
United Kingdom
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