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Planning Officer  

Hastings Borough Council
Hastings, East Sussex
£20,903 to £27,041 per annum
Closing date
6 Aug 2021

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Regeneration and Local Economies, Planning, Regeneration
Job role
Contract Type
Full time
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Grade 8 - 7 SCP 9 – 22 

An individual's position within the grading will be determined by the duties and responsibilities of the post, qualifications and experience. Details can be found in the career grade table in this document.

Reports to

Planning Services Manager


Muriel Matters and working from home

Purpose of the Job

Undertake the processing of planning applications and appeals making recommendations for approval or refusal, and providing professional advice on a range of planning issues, to ensure an efficient and effective planning service to the Borough.

Main Responsibilities

  • To ensure the efficient and consistent handling of planning applications through the statutory processes including appeal procedures meeting both Council and Government performance targets.
  • To deal with and project manage a range of planning applications and amendments in accordance with agreed targets and timescales. To undertake site inspections, assessment of proposals and preparing reports for both delegated and committee items with recommendation and conditions/reasons for final decision.
  • To negotiate with developers, and their adviser’s, appropriate design and other improvements to applications where the submitted application fails to meet adopted planning policies or standards to facilitate a high overall standard of environmental design and development.
  • To respond to informal enquiries and complaints from members of the public, councillors, other departments, on a range of planning matters.  To investigate, research and consider queries, answer, explain processes, and/or advise on a course of action.
  • To prepare statements of case and proofs of evidence for appeals relating to the Planning Development function, to attend the appeal site visit with appellant and inspector and to attend and present at Informal hearings and Public Inquiries as the Council's professional witness and be able to defend the Council’s case.
  • To refer certain matters as they arise to Enforcement Officer or other officers as appropriate, for their action.
  • To negotiate with developers the content of appropriate planning agreements associated with planning applications. To project manage the legal agreements from requesting their submission through to their engrossment and within agreed timescales.
  • To attend and present at committee meetings, working groups and external meetings associated with the development management function as may be required – which may be outside normal working hours.
  • To attend and assist Councillor training.
  • To maintain knowledge of legislation relating to Development Management matters and their implications. To study new legislation, trends in planning and other planning activities to ensure continuing professional development and the maintenance of a full understanding of planning related legislation and practice.
  • Participate in an annual performance appraisal based on agreed objectives that are linked to the Council’s corporate objectives and priorities.
  • Ensure that all duties and services provided are in accordance with the Council’s Equalities and Diversity policies and procedures.
  • To comply with individual responsibilities, in accordance with work role for health and safety in the workplace.
  • Ensure that all duties and services provided are in accordance with the Council’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection policies and procedures.
  • All employees may be called upon to assist with a range of elections duties for the Council on an occasional basis when elections are called. Participation in elections duties is subject to the terms and conditions as determined from time to time by the Returning Officer or Central Government.
  • Undertake such other duties and tasks appropriate to the grade and character of work such as changes in information systems and new technology as may reasonably be required. Therefore, the above list of key result areas in this job description should not be regarded as exclusive or exhaustive.

The Council may, at any time and if relevant to the post, require an Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Check to be carried out.  An enhanced check details Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands and Warnings held in England and Wales on the Police National Computer (and most of the relevant convictions in Scotland and Northern Ireland may also be included). In addition it includes a check of the new barred lists and any locally held police force non conviction information considered relevant to the job role, by the relevant Chief Police Officer(s).

The key result areas to this post are set out in this job description. It should be noted that the Council reserves the right to update the job description from time to time to reflect changes in or to the post after consultation about any proposed changes. Significant permanent changes in duties and responsibilities will require revisions to be made to this job description.

Person Specification

Job Title

Planning Officer (Full Time)

An individual's position within the grading will be determined by the duties and responsibilities of the post, qualifications and experience. Details can be found in the career grade table in this document.


Operational Services

Minimum requirements Qualification

  1. GCSE qualifications


  1.  Minimum 6 month’s experience working in a planning office or studying a relevant qualification.


  1. Knowledge of current planning law and procedures.

Personal Aptitude and Skills

  1. Ability to work under your own initiative to make decisions, work to deadlines & prioritise your workload.
  2. Excellent communication and negotiation skills, both verbal and written.
  3. Ability to work in difficult, pressured and potentially confrontational situations.
  4. Ability to project manage case work effectively to meet Council targets
  5. Attention to technical and legal detail.
  6. Good organisational and project management skills Good IT skills including knowledge of systems and software Satisfactory attendance record (normally less than 5 days absence in a year but taking into account individual circumstances).

Behavioural Approach

  1. Motivated.
  2. Confident and able to deal with people, sometimes in difficult situations.
  3. Polite, tactful and diplomatic.
  4. Able to work effectively as part of a team. Ability to work on your own initiative.
  5. Ability to deal with people sometimes in difficult and potentially confrontational situations.
  6. Ability to stay calm and relaxed.
  7. Ability to work from home, both in terms of behaviour and in terms of having a suitable space available for homeworking and suitable connection to the internet.

Further behavioural information can be found in our Staff Competency Framework which is included in this pack.  Interviews will include competence based questions and our managers are appraised against the framework as part of our performance management process.


  1. Full Driving licence, access to private means of transport and ability to carry out site visits
  2. Prepared to work outside normal hours (evening meetings including Planning Committee etc).

The above qualities will be assessed in the first instance on the application form and again at the interview stage if selected.

Desirable Requirements Qualification

  1. Relevant degree or qualification with full membership of the RTPI.


  1. Experience of development management work including assessment and determination of planning applications and handling of appeals.
  2. Experience of public meetings and informal hearings.
  3. Experience of assessing planning applications.


  1. Experience of public meetings and informal hearings.
  2. Knowledge of IT systems and software
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