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Unlock your planning prowess in a seaside sanctuary

Published on: 29 Feb 2024


The Sunday Times recently voted Folkestone one of the best places to live in the UK. Situated along 26 miles of coastline, it’s packed with wildlife, affordable housing options and… exciting career opportunities.


Folkestone & Hythe District Council is a local authority based just one hour outside of London offering planning professionals the chance to develop their careers — all with a beautiful view of the sea.
With an ambitious and exciting development agenda, it's no surprise that Folkestone & Hythe are looking to grow their Planning team to deliver a range of placemaking projects.

Why Folkestone & Hythe, Kent?

Our area district has it all: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the North Downs countryside, wildlife reserves of Romney Marsh, Britain’s only desert at Dungeness, and the rejuvenation of Folkestone’s old town, seafront and harbour arm, to name just a few.

What exciting projects are you working on?

Otterpool Park is a garden town development of 10,000 homes and £19.7m has been secured from the Levelling Up Fund to provide a major overhaul to Folkestone’s town centre.
The application was recently resolved to be approved at the planning committee and we are now moving onto the exciting new phase of design codes, reserved matters applications and implementation. The scheme is very exciting for a number of reasons, the main one being that it is public sector led with a commitment to 50% open space, early delivery of schools and other infrastructure to help create a new town rather than another housing development. This is a once in a generation opportunity to be part of something truly significant.

Other great projects that we’re working on include the regeneration of Folkestone seafront and harbour as well as Folkestone town centre.

Why would someone want to work for Folkestone & Hythe District Council?

We can offer a great place to live, the opportunity to develop your career and an employer recognised by Best Companies as an outstanding organisation to work for.
We have an agile and flexible working culture and support our staff working in a hybrid way, and have a real focus on wellbeing and family-friendly initiatives.

We also have an excellent benefits package that includes corporate membership and discount schemes, car salary sacrifice, reimbursement of professional memberships, generous annual leave, access to the Local Government Pension Scheme and relocation packages for moving to the area.

Tell us about the opportunities for training and development at the council.

We have a range of roles, so there will be something suitable whether you are looking at starting your planning career or progressing your career. Development is a big focus for us. Everyone has their own development plan and we have a track record of supporting people through a range of different experiences, projects and qualifications – depending on what is right for them and their development.

Tell us about the roles you’re currently recruiting for.

We’re expanding our team and are looking for individuals who care about the places people live and work.

The roles we’re recruiting for are:

  • Strategic sites development manager: To oversee, lead and manage our strategic sites team, including oversight of upcoming applications at Otterpool (the garden settlement owned by the Council), the regeneration of Folkestone Seafront and the Harbour.

  • Principal planning officer: Dealing with large, complex and controversial applications and providing support and advice to less experienced colleagues, including signing off applications.

  • Senior planning officer: Working within the Strategic Sites team, this post will involve a caseload of large and complex applications, and will receive support from the strategic sites team leader and principal planning officer.

  • Graduate planner: Dealing initially with smaller schemes but with opportunities for career progression and training.

  • Arboricultural officer: Providing expert advice to colleagues and Councillors, making TPOs, dealing with a caseload of tree applications, high hedge complaints and providing advice to all team members on landscape and townscape.

  • Conservation & heritage officer: Providing heritage advice to all colleagues and members, assessing applications for works to designated heritage assets, driving quality of development within conservation areas and affecting listed buildings.

What kind of people do you want to hear from?

We’re looking for a range of people, but in particular we want to hear from enthusiastic, motivated and creative people, whether looking to start their planning career, or with the necessary experience to move up into senior positions.
In the senior positions, including the arboricultural and conservation & heritage officers, we would like people who are able to take the initiative, and work as well independently as they do as part of a team and to help pass their knowledge to less experienced colleagues.

Click here to find out more about what we're doing, what it’s like to work for us and the roles we have available