Head of Planning Policy, Transport & Infrastructure Planning

London (Greater)
Competitive Salary
15 Oct 2019
22 Oct 2019
Contract Type
Full time

Organisation: Be First (London Borough of Barking & Dagenham)   Location: Maritime House, Barking, IG11 8AG

Be First is a pioneering urban regeneration company wholly owned by, but operating independently from, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD).  Be First’s mission is to accelerate growth and capitalise on the borough’s position as London’s hottest investment and development opportunity.

We are a property developer, including commercial agency, construction and planning consultancy, and undertake statutory planning services on behalf of the Council (including Development Management, Planning Policy and Building Control). We utilise council and commercial investment resources to acquire sites, secure planning permission and build out new residential and commercial developments.

This is a senior position within Be First’s Planning & Building Control Team, and you will report into the Chief Planning Director, who works with a Deputy Chief Planning Director.  The Policy Team currently comprises: 2 x Graduate Planners; Monitoring & Evaluation Officer; 3 x Principal Planners; Transport Planning Manager; Transport Officer; and an Interim Planning Policy Manager.

In this role you will be responsible for ensuring that the Policy Team meets its statutory obligations for planning, transport and infrastructure policy.   This includes overseeing the preparation of funding bids and documents like the Local Plan, Infrastructure Delivery Plan, Local Implementation Plan, CIL, supplementary guidance and associated evidence as well as accurate monitoring. While the Team is now in the process of preparing the Local Plan for public consultation in late 2019, output has, historically, been limited.  The intention is for the team to become much more dynamic and proactive, setting up policy to facilitate and deliver successful, sustainable places. This is therefore an opportunity for someone to really shape the Team so that it delivers something special.

In addition to the above, in this role you will be expected to:

  • Manage and lead the Policy Team, overseeing workload, budget and performance;
  • Secure   and   promote   investment   for   infrastructure   including   strategic   transport improvements;
  • Provide accurate and timely advice on policy related issues, maximizing funding and policy opportunities to support and drive development in line with the Council’s objectives and aspirations whilst having regard to statutory, national and regional guidance and priorities;
  •  Oversee the refinement and establishment of effective monitoring;
  • Input into relevant KPIs included within the Be First Business Plan, and ensure these are subsequently met;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with external bodies, to facilitate information sharing, meaningful duty to co-operate (etc.), promote and influence;
  • -Make recommendations for creative, innovative and practical policy and strategy solutions.

Where you have previously worked is not critical- it could be in the public or private sector, in a research team or within a think tank (etc.). What is critical is that you can look at the wider picture and think strategically to anticipate development, transport and infrastructure needs, and then utilise planning policy tools to drive and achieve development outcomes.  It is anticipated that you will have a  depth of experience, but what is infinitely more important is what you have learnt from your experience and where you see yourself headed in the future that than any number of years spent working.

Applicants should:

-     Be a clear, confident communicator, building relationships within the team, as well as with other stakeholders like local communities, Members, Council teams, colleagues at Be First and at external bodies like TfL, the GLA, Environment Agency (etc);

-     Have a commercial understanding of the property sector, and where planning sits within it. This includes a technical understanding of the nuances of planning policy, although you should be able to demonstrate how you have utilised policy to drive outcomes, rather than be able to quote verbatim specific policies;

-     Recognise that planning policy is a tool, not an oracle;

-     Be output-focused, and able to exercise initiative and good judgement in delivering this within a challenging and political environment;

-     Be technically astute, practical and self-motivated, and have a genuine interest in the built environment;

-     Be able to get to the nub of an issue quickly, and comfortable with looking at the bigger strategic picture and how details feed into this.

It’s an exciting time to join Be First, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Please note all direct applications will be forwarded directly to Berwick Partners our retained recruitment partners for this exciting assignment. Contact Marek Dobrowolski. marek.dobrowolski@berwickpartners.co.uk