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Head of Planning and Chief Planning Officer

Cairngorms National Park Authority
Grantown-on-Spey, Highland
£54,172 - £65,000 (Band F)
Closing date
18 Jun 2024

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Job Title: Head of Planning and Chief Planning Officer

Salary: £54,172 - £65,000 (Band F)

Location: Grantown on Spey

Job Type: Permanent Contract

Hours: Full time, 35 hours per week

Closing Date: 23:59pm, Tuesday 18 June 2024

Interview Date: Thursday 18 July 2024

Please note, there is a preference for the candidates selected for interview to attend in person

About Us:

The Cairngorms National Park is an incredible place to live and work. The UK’s largest national park is home to over 25% of the UK’s rare and endangered species, four of the UK’s top five highest mountains, the largest Caledonian forest and some of Scotland’s most iconic rivers. It is a truly unique landscape and this is an exceptional role for the right person.

Alongside its spectacular nature, the National Park is home to 18,000 residents and over 1,000 businesses, alongside the nearly two million people who visit the area each year. This role is a great opportunity for the right person to ensure that the Park Authority’s key services deliver for residents, businesses and visitors alike.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority is a fantastic place to work and offers great opportunities to grow your career. The Park Authority is listed in the UK’s top 100 best not- for-profit companies to work for. We’re dedicated to both this amazing place and our employees.

We now have an exciting opportunity for a Head of Planning and Chief Planning Officer to join the CNPA and lead, motivate and manage the staff team and financial resources to deliver an outstanding Planning Service across the National Park.

The Role:

As the Head of Planning and Chief Planning Officer you will lead, motivate and manage the staff team and financial resources to deliver an outstanding Planning Service across the National Park. This includes delivery of development planning, development management and enforcement functions in the context of the national planning improvement framework.

You will deliver the Authority’s Corporate and Operational Plans with specific emphasis on planning and delivering national planning priorities, championing place, renewables, built heritage, transport, design, flooding, community development and economic development.

You will also be the Park Authority’s Chief Planning Officer, playing a key role in the leadership, vision and strategic direction of the Park Authority, raising the profile of planning in authority decisions. You will be an ambassador for the planning profession and advise the Park Authority about the carrying out of the functions conferred on them. As the Chief Planning Officer for the Park Authority, the notice period for the role is 3 months, to help ensure continuity of coverage in this statutory role.

So, if you are keen to be our Head of Planning and Chief Planning Officer and you can display the skills and experience listed here, this is the role you’ve been waiting for. 


CNPA is an inclusive organisation and we welcome applications from everyone irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, relationship status, disability, age and social class.  We particularly welcome applications from individuals from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, disabled and LGBTQ+ communities, as they are under-represented in the environment sector.

We are Disability Confident committed employer, if you are an applicant with disabilities who meets the essential requirements of the post, we will interview you.  In all circumstances CNPA appoints on merit-based evidence the applicant supplies in meeting the essential criteria for the post.

CNPA Benefits:

Civil service pension scheme – some of the benefits include:


  • 25 days annual leave, increasing to 30 days with service, plus Public Holidays
  • Professional development
  • Flexible working
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Use of pool cars

About You:

To be considered as our Head of Planning and Chief Planning Officer, you’ll need:

  • Experience of managing staff, and demonstrable ability to lead, motivate and develop a staff team
  • A degree in Town and Country Planning or equivalent and RTPI membership.
  • Significant experience of developing planning policy and preparation of Local Development Plans and/or development management.
  • The capacity to work autonomously of frequent senior management supervision.
  • Demonstrate ability to make sound judgements on the handling of controversial and sensitive planning issues.
  • Articulate, with excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Full UK driving licence or access to a driver if disability prevents driving.
  • Permission to work in the UK.

How to apply:

To apply, please click on the ‘Apply Now’ button

Please note, we do not accept Curriculum Vitae (CV).

If you require more information, or if you require any adjustments to be made to the application process due to disability please contact us on 01479 873535 or email:

To see how the CNPA collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants, please view the Privacy Notice available on our website.


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