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Senior Enforcement Officer

Dorset Council
Dorchester, Dorset
£32,234 - £37,890
Closing date
31 Oct 2021
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Senior Enforcement Officer - 61042752A

Dorchester based, covering South & West Dorset

£32,234 - £37,890

Permanent, Full time

Closing date: 31 October 2021

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You will have a key role in ensuring that the Council achieves positive planning enforcement outcomes. You will be overseeing the day to day enforcement casework and provide support and supervision to the enforcement officers and assistants for one of three planning committee areas. You will report to the enforcement team manager and liaise closely with the development management team managers for each committee area.

What you will be doing

You will ensure thorough assessment of planning enforcement enquiries through desk based research and site visits especially in relation to more complex and contentious breaches of planning control. Ensuring thorough investigation and gathering of evidence on a variety of breaches of planning control taking in to account appropriate legislation, government guidance, planning policies and council procedures. The work will involve liaison with internal consultees including highways environmental health and conservation and, external bodies such as the police, Environmental Agency and Natural England.

The Dorset Council area has an outstanding natural and historic environment, with national and international designations including the internationally protected heathlands habitats, two areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the "Jurassic Coast" World Heritage Site. Within this challenging context, we also need to plan for the future of the local economy and meet significant housing demand. The post offers the opportunity to be involved with a wide range of interesting and challenging planning enforcement issues.

The role includes the provision of supervision and support to enforcement officers and assistants, overseeing responses to general enquiries both internal and external providing appropriate enforcement advice to any party regarding alleged breaches of planning control.


About you 

You are expected to have substantial post qualification experience in planning enforcement or similar investigatory work such as in the police.

The ability to negotiate solutions in order to avoid formal action where possible is required. Good written and oral communication skills to be able to explain complex and/ or contentious planning enforcement matters in plain simple English to all stakeholders including: members of the public, Councillors and other planning professionals, is essential. The role requires ability to work independently and as part of a team.

There is a requirement to represent the Council at appeal hearings and criminal courts and prepare reports for committee. You will have to agree recommendations on the expediency of taking action in discussion with the enforcement team manager and other senior officers within the Council. It will be a requirement to draft planning contravention notices, enforcement notices, breach of condition notices in liaison with legal services and senior officers. Defending formal action by drafting statements with high quality evidence at planning enforcement appeals and hearings will be necessary. The preparation of witness statements and undertaking of interviews under Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) codes of practice forms part of the role.

Additional information

Membership of a relevant professional body such as the RTPI or RICS is desirable.

The post is based in Dorchester but will cover the towns of Weymouth & Portland / Bridport/Beaminster and Lyme Regis.

You will be expected to have a vehicle available on most working days as there is an extensive travel requirement. Travel expenses will be paid at the Council's standard rate. 

This post has a significant travel requirement and you are contractually required to have a vehicle (or transport deemed to be suitable by the council) available for use as required.

If you wish to discuss the job vacancy in further detail, please contact Mark Hitchcott, Enforcement  Manager, on 01258 484233.

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