Head of Planning – Development Management and Planning Policy

Lewes, East Sussex
£53,323 - £63,981
09 Feb 2018
26 Feb 2018
Full Time
Contract Type

This is an exciting time for Eastbourne Borough and Lewes District Councils.  A process of joint transformation is underway, which has seen the two councils move to a single shared officer team.  This transformation is helping to protect services in a time of reducing budgets, while ensuring a modern, high quality and resilient professional team.  At the same time the strategic profile of both organisations within the region is set to grow.

The transformation includes having a joint Development Management service which covers the councils’ Local Planning Authority areas. Lewes and Eastbourne both include areas in the South Down National Park, and we undertake the Development Management functions in partnership with the SDNP Planning Authority.  Maintaining and furthering a positive working relationship with the National Park Authority is fundamental to this post.  You will need to have a proven track record of positively planning for growth and working with regeneration and property colleagues to help use the planning system to deliver public benefits.

There is a wide range of planning applications to get involved with, ranging from the small scale householder to implementing strategic sites arising from our Local Plan allocations. In addition, there are two local plans to ensure are kept up to date, which are currently at varying stages in production. 

As Head of Planning you will have a crucial role leading the Planning Service across both authorities. The teams are newly set up and your appointment is fundamental to cement the team structure. You will have experience of leading and motivating during times of organisational change, and will show a keen understanding of organisational culture.  You will be responsible for leading the production of the Local Plans for each authority, together with the continued running of the Development Management service, ensuring the that we meet national targets and continue to improve our customer service. 

We are looking for an individual with commitment, a high level of energy who can continue to achieving excellent performance whilst providing a fresh look at the service to deliver our continued improvement through our transformation process and beyond.

You will be both organisations’ professional lead for all Planning disciplines; in what will be a high profile role with councillors at all levels – from the Leaders to the backbenchers.  You will oversee a Policy team that is bringing forward separate local plan documents for each council, is assisting with the preparation of 6 neighbourhood plans in Lewes (4 are already made) and a Community Infrastructure Levy team that is expected to collect and spend  up to £17m in the period to 2030.

Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Leading the planning service
  • Screening planning applications at verification stage
  • Evaluation, negotiation, recommendation of applications
  • Leading the Planning Policy formulation
  • Briefing committees and Council Members as well as representing the Council at appeals, hearings and public inquiries
  • Leading planning service improvements and projects
  • Assisting with recruiting and developing a well-functioning planning team and managing the team’s workloads, finances and budgets.

To succeed as Head of Planning you must have competence in a variety of IT systems and packages, plus the ability to communicate with people of different social, economic and professional backgrounds. You must also have:

  • A recognised planning qualification
  • Full RTPI Membership
  • Aptitude for progressing applications and development projects
  • Aptitude for Planning Policy formulation
  • Management and supervisory experience
  • High level communication and presentation skills including clear, concise reporting and correspondence particularly concerning complex or controversial issues.

We have a wide range of benefits on offer including:

  • A flexible working environment, meaning you can work effectively in the office, at home or when on site
  • An excellent work/life balance
  • Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Discounted gym membership
  • Childcare vouchers

Eastbourne and Lewes offer a diverse mix of environments; including the larger urban area of Eastbourne, the historic county town of Lewes, small towns and villages in and around the National Park and a large area of coastal strip.  As such the role will offer both variety, and a high profile opportunity for the right candidate to really make their mark.

To apply visit


Closing date: Noon 26th February 2018    

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