UDC creates new jobs in its planning team as part of transformation programme

Uttlesford District Council has created a number of new jobs within its planning department to join its existing complement of contracted planners as it embarks on an ambitious transformation programme.

The council has been reviewing its planning service and has made changes so that it is fit to respond to current challenges - notably, the need to develop a local plan that works in the best interests of the district, and improving performance against government targets in order to gain more control over planning applications.

As part of the programme of changes, a new Strategic Applications Team has been set up to provide advice and deal with large-scale applications, and also some new roles have been created, including a Conservation Officer and Ecologist, to bring these specialist areas back in-house.

The council remains keen to develop its own professional staff and is currently supporting three staff members to gain their qualifications. It has also created more career-grade jobs and will be using its apprenticeship levy funding to train up more people and support them through diplomas and degrees.

Cllr John Evans, portfolio holder with responsibility for planning, said: "There is a huge shortfall of qualified people in various professions needed within local councils, including in town planning and building regulations. This is recognised by professional bodies such as RTPI. Like most councils, Uttlesford is currently filling these functions with qualified team members on a short-term basis.

"We are doing our best to overcome this and have set a programme of work to transform the planning service, supported by the Planning Advisory Service and the relevant government department, which is designed to make it a more efficient service that meets the challenges and proper expectations of our residents and stakeholders."

In total, there are 12 vacancies within the planning service that the council is seeking to fill on a permanent basis, spanning all levels, from career-grade officers to principal planning officer and team leader.

Anyone interested in these jobs can find out more and is encouraged to apply at: www.uttlesford.gov.uk/for-jobs.

13 December 2022