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Principal Policy Manager

Be First
Maritime House, Barking, London
£44,000 - £55,000 (Grade 5)
Closing date
8 Jul 2021
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Job Details

Overall Purpose of Job:

Barking and Dagenham is at the heart of London’s eastward growth, attracting developers and investors to the most affordable and accessible opportunities in the whole of the Southeast.

With 400 hectares of development land, Be First plan to provide 50,000 high quality new homes and 20,000 new jobs within the next 20 years.

Be First is a wholly owned subsidiary of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.  With an exciting programme of sustainable infrastructure, urban design and transport schemes planned over the next 10 years, the ambition is for the Borough to earn a reputation as the Green Borough of London. 

As our Spatial Planning Policy Lead, you will deliver the full range of planning policy work on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council, with a heavy forward-looking focus, helping to strategically shape the future of the Borough. 

Your team will be responsible for developing and taking the New Local Plan through the Examination process and also managing Be First’s SPD process in adopting Masterplans.  Also assessing planning applications and evidence, as well as writing and reviewing local policies and leading on a range of Spatial Policy Planning issues for the borough.

Job Context:

  • The post holder reports to a Head of Transport Infrastructure and Policy Planning.
  • The post holder will be responsible for managing a team of up to four planners including graduate planner and project management of supporting consultants
  • The post holder has budget responsibility for delivering the Local Plan and consultancy contracts
  • The post holder may be expected to work across the Planning, Transport Infrastructure and Policy Planning functions.
  • The post holder will work flexibly and work as an effective team member.

Key Tasks and Accountabilities:

This role would suit someone who has a strong interest in developing planning policy and is able to demonstrate their passion for implementing planning policy. Candidates who are able to demonstrate previous experience of strategic thinking and the impact this has on shaping future outcomes will be highly regarded, as will those who have a solid grounding in a consulting environment or local planning authority.  This is the ideal opportunity for an experienced policy planner looking to move into a leadership role. 

This is a real chance to drive sustainable change across an exciting part of London. 

Key tasks and accountabilities are intended to be a guide to the range and level of work expected of the post holder.

  • To contribute towards the implementation of a working culture that is result-orientated, customer-focused and an ethos of ‘right first time’ service delivery.
  • To undertake all duties with minimal supervision.
  • To be responsible for continuous personal development by requesting and attending training when necessary.
  • To demonstrate a strong commitment to the promotion of equal opportunities.
  • To provide high quality planning services to external and internal customers and stakeholders, meeting evolving delivery priorities, issues and challenges to agreed standards defined in the service offer.
  • Undertake a full range of operational business tasks a portfolio of projects which may be within some or all of the planning functions. Activities include:
  • Leading on the development of development plan documents and supplementary planning documents including drafting and stakeholder engagements
  • Commissioning or compiling evidence to support planning policy development
  • Providing advice to  development management case officers and developers on the implementation of adopted and emerging policy
  • Drafting and presenting Cabinet reports, Committee reports and briefing notes
  • Organising, preparing and present evidence to Local Plan Examinations in Public, planning appeals and potentially compulsory purchase orders.
  • Coordinating and responding to national, regional and other consultations relevant to planning
  • To liaise with Council officers and a wide range of public and private bodies in order to provide the planning input to policy project projects securing the redevelopment or improvement of land in the Borough.
  • Developing work programmes for direct report and carrying out 1-2-1s and appraisals

This role will have responsibility for line manage up to four junior staff members. 


Essential experience

  • Educated to degree level in a planning, geography, surveying or a related subject
  • A  member or eligible for chartered membership or the Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Recent experience of representing a Local Planning Authority at a local plan examination
  • A least 5 years of experience of developing Local Plan Policies and/ or Supplementary Planning Documents and clear experience on leading on these documents or aspect therein.
  • A working knowledge of planning legislation and related guidance.
  • Experience of providing high quality advice to Councillors and other stakeholders
  • IT literate with experience of using Word, PowerPoint and other software packages to record and manage data.
  • Demonstrable understanding of the equality and diversity agenda, and experience of embedding a fair and ethical approach within a team and wider organisation
  • Experience of coaching, mentoring or line managing more junior members of staff


  • Experience of establishing Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 charging schedules/ policies and/ or administration is desirable
  • Experience working in a statutory planning function (plan making or development management) of a local authority.

Essential skills

  • Able to work successfully in teams
  • Demonstrable experience of creative and innovative in solving complex problems
  • Able to think and work proactively, “self-start” and work autonomously with the minimum of direct supervision
  • Scrupulous attention to detail, particularly with regard to technical aspects plan making
  • At ease in the presence of company directors, senior client representatives and able to command a sense of personal professional gravitas without being overbearing
  • Have a corporate approach to managing her/his areas of responsibility, seeing the bigger picture, supporting fellow executives and board members in meeting their objectives
  • Able to work under pressure, ensuring agreed programmes and project requirements are met and customer demands accommodated
  • Strong influencing and persuasion skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong reporting writing and communications skills, abilities to flex communication style and approach to meet the needs of a diverse range of stakeholder groups

How to Apply

In order to apply, please submit a CV supported by a covering letter of no more than 2 sides of A4 outlining your motivation for applying and highlighting how your skills, knowledge and experience meet the requirements of the role. Please do this by clicking on the Apply button below.

Please note, submitting a CV without a covering letter will delay your application.

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