The planning profession often receives bad press. It can be easy to forget that the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act was as fundamental as the NHS in laying the foundations of our modern society. The planning system is at the heart of delivering sustainable and equitable communities. It is a powerful framework for shaping our everyday lives, from our homes to our public spaces, public service provisions, and roads.
Now, the existing planning system is under extreme pressure. The combined challenges of a skills crisis, funding restraints, and a piecemeal approach to reform are leading to huge backlogs and public resentment. Proposed government reforms mean planning is now on the threshold of change. There are renewed opportunities to use digital transformation and break out of the two dimensions of development management and plan-making. We can create a more accessible and transparent system with high-quality design at its heart — a system that is recognised by the public as being essential to creating a sustainable future for us all.
Planning roles have traditionally been separated into strategy and delivery teams that often work independently of each other. The strategy team sets local planning policy and devises local plans and design guides, while the delivery team works in development management and oversees minor and major planning applications. The new National Planning Policy Framework and planning reforms provide an opportunity for local authority teams to reimagine this traditional way of working and embed high quality design across all aspects of their planning functions. This renewed emphasis on Local Plans will make the integration of teams and skills essential for the future of the profession.
Examples of Local Plans
Common Job Titles
The list below shows common job titles provided that we have recently recruited to that align with this grouping:
- Principal Strategy Officer
- Senior Planning Advisor
- Senior Planning Policy Officer
- Lead Planning & Design Officer (also considered an Urban Design Role)
- Principal Planning Officer - Policy
- Creative Active and Healthy Spaces Lead
- Principal Developer Contributions Officer
Development management roles:
- Principal Planner
- Principal Planning Officer
- Principal Planner - Development Management
- Programme Manager – Strategic Sites
- Senior Project Officer