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Principal Planning Officer

South Oxfordshire District Council & Vale of White Horse District Council
Didcot, Oxfordshire
£47,219 to £51,894 per annum
Closing date
25 Apr 2021
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Job Details

Are you a dynamic and enthusiastic town planner with experience in local plan-making? We are looking for an ambitious planning policy officer excited about working on good place-making, zero carbon and nature recovery in an area of the country experiencing fast planned housing and jobs growth. If you are committed to high quality customer service, innovative public engagement, and are ready for an exciting new challenge, this could be the role for you.

The team works across two Councils and is responsible for delivering a new joint Local Plan between South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse, as well playing an active role in the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 (one of only a few joint strategic plans in the country) and projects like CIL updates and SPDs. You can expect to oversee, project manage and assist with topics or sections in the plan and evidence base, and work with our neighbouring authorities on cross-boundary issues and initiatives in the OxCam Arc. It’s an opportunity to help shape tomorrow and be part of a growing team.

Principal Planning Policy Officer Responsibilities:

• Oversee, project manage and assist in the production of documents making up the Development plan
• Carry out research into a variety of topics as part of the work on the preparation of the local plan and other policy documents
• Write briefs, employ consultants and manage contracts for specialist work and projects, including overseeing associated budget
• Attend project meetings with internal and external stakeholders (including evening meetings when requested)
• Prepare draft sections of the Local Plan and supplementary planning documents and papers and reports on them and other planning policy issues, including consultation documents for officers and Members
• Carry out consultations on the Local Plan and other planning policy documents including attendance at exhibitions and meetings
• Prepare and present evidence supporting the Council’s case at the Examinations, Hearings and Public Inquiries
• Provide advice on and assistance to town and parish councils preparing or wishing to prepare Neighbourhood Development Plans
• Provide professional advice and training on planning policy and development matters to the public, Members and other professionals
• Assist in the supervision of the work of junior planning or technical officers
• Assist in other aspects of the team’s work including input into county and other cross-authority planning arrangements, management of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, nature conservation and transportation matters
• Support development management colleagues in interpreting policy for planning applications

Principal Planning Policy Officer Requirements:

• Significant experience of working in planning, including policy work
• Excellent IT experience in Windows environment and good keyboard skills
• Experience of working within a customer focused environment dealing with the public
• Excellent, accurate written communication skills
• Excellent oral skills and experience in giving clear, succinct and well argued presentations - formally and informally
• Confident working with maps and plans
• Ability to interpret policies and law
• An excellent knowledge of Planning Legislation
• An excellent knowledge of Planning Policy
• Ability and willingness to take individual responsibility for work and set priorities to meet agreed standards
• Ability to work as a team member and contribute to the team
• Ability to work corporately
• Diplomatic, tactful and able to maintain discretion in difficult circumstances
• Able to project manage work and other team members input into it
• A degree or post graduate degree in Town Planning, a related discipline or equivalent level of experience
• Corporate RTPI membership

About the councils:

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are forward-thinking local authorities, based in one of the most attractive areas of the country. They are looking for a competent and enthusiastic person who can communicate well at all levels. An excellent benefits package is on offer including annualised hours (flexible working) and a career average pension scheme.

Salary: £47,219 to £51,894 per annum

Duration of role: 1 x Permanent, 1 x Fixed Term 6 months
Hours per week: 37 hours
Location: Milton Park, Didcot

Closing Date: 25th April 2021

The benefits we offer:

• 24 days annual leave per annum, rising to 29 after 5 years, plus bank holidays and time off between Christmas and New Year
• Salary pay awards – we review salaries each April
• A generous career average pension scheme which includes life insurance of three times your salary
• No car park costs as there’s ample free parking available
• A childcare voucher scheme
• The opportunity to purchase a bike through the tax efficient Cyclescheme
• A salary sacrifice car lease scheme – a fully inclusive driving package for a fixed monthly cost
• Various schemes to keep you healthy (reduced gym membership, free swims, contributory medical schemes, wellbeing appointments, free eye tests for DSE users, after work sports clubs and more)
• We give you two days per year to volunteer within the local community.

Under Government guidelines, many of our employees are being asked to undertake their roles from home. This will be discussed in more detail during this roles interview process where required.

You may have experience of the following: Principal Planning Policy Officer, Town Planner, Local Authority, RTPI, Project Management, Planning Officer, Planner, Policy, Legislation, Royal Town Planning Institute etc.

Ref: 97972



As a district council we collect council tax on behalf of other organisations, such as the county council and the police, and we use around ten per cent of what we collect to help pay for services we provide such as:

To find out more about South Oxfordshire and where you live, you can click on the information about your area section of our home page or for more detail about the district you can head to our where I live page

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