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Senior Planner (Housing and Viability)

The Role

  • Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance?
  • Do you want to join a positive and ambitious team?
  • Do you have an excellent understanding of national, regional, and local planning policy?
  • Could you bring knowledge about planning and viability together to develop opportunities to deliver affordable housing through planning?

If you answered yes, we want to hear from you.

An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for a new permanent Senior Planner (Housing and Viability) to be based within a small team of officers leading on the development and implementation of the Richmond Local Plan and related policies. This is a key priority for the Council, with current policies seeking affordable housing contributions from all new residential development, and the additional capacity provided by this dedicated role will assist with maximising opportunities for affordable housing delivery through the realm of planning. There has never been a more challenging – or rewarding – time to work for Richmond.

About the role:
The Senior Planner (Housing and Viability – Richmond) will independently manage key planning aspects related to affordable housing, including securing financial contributions and will act as the key link between the Planning service, the Council’s appointed external viability advisor, and the Council’s Housing department.

You will actively support the implementation and review of Local Plan policies on affordable housing, including producing evidence for the emerging new Local Plan, particularly in relation to securing contributions from small development sites in Richmond. You will also support the Council’s statutory planning functions by providing expert advice to case officers on planning applications in relation to affordable housing and understanding viability matters.

In addition, you will also provide expert advice from planning policy for enabling affordable housing on development sites in the borough, brokering between different departments and external viability consultants.

You will also have the opportunity to coach and facilitate the acquisition of skills and knowledge in others, and this includes providing training and building in-house capacity within the Planning service on affordable housing, delivery, and viability matters.  

You will need to bring an excellent understanding of national, regional, and local planning policy and associated legislative requirements and policy guidance. You will take a proactive approach to relevant changes in these, recommending revised procedures and practices and managing the implementation of those revisions, with a particular focus on affordable housing and viability matters.

While the role is based within the Shared Staffing Arrangement, it will involve mainly working on Richmond’s implementation of the affordable housing policy including related work to the development of the Local Plan and associated evidence base and justification.

We welcome applications from planners and/or surveyors who have knowledge and background in planning and/or viability respectively, including from the public and/or private sector.

Who are we:
Richmond is arguably London’s most attractive borough, with the River Thames running for over 10 miles through the borough, linking Hampton Court Palace, Richmond and Twickenham town centres, and Kew Gardens. Richmond boasts Royal Parks and open spaces, historic houses, vibrant town centres bursting with life, as well as being the home of English rugby.

We are positive and ambitious – When you join us, you will apply the same approach.

You will:

  • Take a key role in a small team of planning professionals in providing definitive and professional advice, including on planning applications and in negotiations on affordable housing and viability matters.
  • Create and apply the Council’s affordable housing planning policy and deliver successful planning outcomes.
  • Lead on and take personal responsibility in relation to specialist evidence for the Local Plan and in respect of planning appeals on affordable housing and viability matters.
  • Build and develop strong working relationships inside the Planning service as well as with external partners.
  • Help to deliver a high quality, robust and transparent Planning Policy service.
  • Ensure decision making within tight time frames and that the Spatial and Transport Planning service is recognised as delivering an excellent planning service for all of our customers.

If you would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail, please contact Andrea Kitzberger-Smith, Planning Policy and Design Team Manager on 020 8891 7364 or email a.kitzberger-smith@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk, or Joanne Capper, Principal Planner (Policy), on 020 8891 7321 or email Joanne.Capper@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk

Benefits:
We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working and other arrangements. Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you’d like to explore. We also offer a generous holiday allowance of 39 paid days (pro rata) including bank holidays and a wide range of learning and development opportunities.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of staff benefits such as membership of the Local Government pension scheme, childcare vouchers, new technology scheme, interest-free loans on annual travel cards, discounts with many leisure activities, restaurants, shops, and other establishments.

How to apply:
Please register, submit your CV and a supporting statement addressing how you meet the requirements of this role. If you are having difficulty in applying online, please contact the Recruitment Team at recruitment@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk to see if we can offer alternative arrangements for you to apply.

Indicative Recruitment Timeline

Closing Date:  Sunday 28 February 2021

Shortlisting Date: Week commencing 1 March 2021

Interview Date(s): 9, 10 and/or 11 March 2021

Useful Information:
The closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. We strongly advise you to complete your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Please note that the advertised dates for interviews may change due to the current Covid-19 situation. If they do, we will let you know as soon as possible.

Your health and wellbeing is our top priority. Should you become unwell due to Covid-19 during the recruitment process we would very much appreciate receiving an update from you as soon as possible.

We particularly welcome applications from sections of the community who are currently underrepresented within our teams, including BAME.

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to making our recruitment practices as inclusive as possible for everyone. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a culture that values differences, recognising that employees from a variety of backgrounds bring important and positive contributions to the Councils and can improve the way we deliver services. We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer.

Important Information:

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people/vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. 

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

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