Graduate Planner

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Job Title                                  Graduate Planner

Role Type                                Permanent/Full Time

Job Location                           Billingshurst, West Sussex or Wokingham, Berkshire

Reports to                               Regional Head of Planning


The Company

 Thakeham is an infrastructure-led community creator and strategic land promoter and proud winner of a Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For.

The business is committed to partnerships, innovation and creating amazing places to live and work. Thakeham is a leader in the industry on sustainability and biodiversity. We are at the forefront of delivering sustainable homes, committed to ensuring every Thakeham home is carbon-neutral in production, and carbon-zero throughout its lifetime use by 2025. These core values underpin the company-wide mission to affect communities in a positive way

Thakeham was launched in 2003. From day one, the company was driven by a clear vision: to transform the way people think about new-built developments. Today, Thakeham employs close to 200 people with a turnover of over £105m.

People are Thakeham’s most important asset. Thakeham operates a thriving graduate recruitment programme and supports the Movement to Work initiative to help young people secure work. Thakeham has signed the HBF Mental Health Charter and recently organised a health and wellbeing programme during Lockdown.

A Bronze Armed Forces Covenant signatory and supporter of armed force’s charity Mission Motorsport, Thakeham operates a Talent for Development outreach campaign for military veterans and college leavers.

Away from work, Thakeham offers a range of staff events including quiz nights and participates in charity challenges including dragon boat racing.

We pride ourselves on our ‘Infrastructure first’ approach, ensuring communities release the benefits of new development at the outset, rather than later on in the process. Thakeham strive to not just create new homes, but genuinely amazing places to live, work and play. Thakeham delivers social, affordable and retirement housing for some of the biggest housing associations and local authorities in the country.  Partners include the NHS England Healthy New Towns Initiative, the Plunkett Foundation, Social Value UK and have been awarded a prestigious Gold Supply Chain School.

Offering exciting career opportunities that are second to none, we are keen to develop, guide and support our employees throughout their careers. Our people enjoy excellent rewards and working conditions in an exciting and fast growing business.


The Department

The Planning Department progress Thakeham’s portfolio of sites from promotion through to achieving planning permission and on site implementation for residential-led developments.

The Planning Department is responsible for supporting the land and business development in-house teams, promoting strategic sites, dealing with planning applications, providing implementation support, and providing national/regional representations for Thakeham.

We work as a cohesive and collegiate planning department supporting one another across regional teams and sharing knowledge and learning in various ways such as monthly meetings as well as more ad hoc sessions.

Due to substantial and rapid growth we are looking for motivated and enthusiastic team member to join our team.


The Job Role

The successful candidate will be working alongside Land and Planning colleagues in identifying new strategic sites, preparing planning appraisals and undertaking background research.  They will also be working on projects, with Planning team members, across our portfolio which are being promoted through the local plan system and in preparation of planning applications, which includes public consultations and attendance at various types of meetings.  Training and support will be provided to ensure the successful candidate gets broad exposure to types and sizes of projects to enable their knowledge and expertise to grow.  Support will also be given to enable the candidate to work towards RTPI chartered membership.

We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic graduate, who will be working towards RTPI membership, with sound knowledge of planning processes and practises, with excellent communication skills.

The successful candidate will be

 Assisting and management of portfolio sites

  • To work alongside the planning team, supporting senior members where required across projects.
  • Liaising with project teams where required to assist in progression of promotions and planning applications.
  • To maintain policy trackers and update team on forthcoming consultations.
  • To provide informed advice confidently to internal teams to ensure compliance with planning approvals.
  • Working alongside senior planners to draft and submit representations, SHLAA forms and to respond to site specific policy requests from stakeholders or Councils where required.
  • Assisting senior team members in the promotion and preparation of planning applications.
  • Assisting or leading with senior supervision with the discharge of planning conditions and submission / determination of minor applications and advertisement applications.

Planning Appraisals/Due Diligence

  • To assist the planning team by completing Planning Appraisals for all new potential development sites and supporting in District wide appraisals reporting to an assigned senior colleague.
  • To assist the planning team in undertaking due diligence on prospective new sites for our Thakeham Partnership company, reporting to an assigned senior colleague.

Background Research and Meetings

  • Attendance at meetings to support senior colleagues by note taking, taking meeting minutes and assisting with administration.
  • Assisting team members by undertaking policy research when requested.
  • Updating trackers and monitors for policy
  • Attend internal and external meetings as required
  • Advise on general planning changes and updates in National and Local policies and advise of any likely impact of such changes
  • Participate in team CPD or to advise on content of external CPD attended.
  • Attend external CPD
  • To work towards RTPI chartered membership in a timely manner

This list is not exhaustive. Tasks will be allocated to reflect the role and project/team requirements.


The Required Skills

  • Degree qualified in Town Planning/Urban Planning or degree/masters (or equivalent) where Town/Urban planning was a module taken by the candidate who has a strong interest in planning
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel & Outlook)
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of local government and the planning process in England
  • Can-do attitude and able to take the initiative
  • Strong communication and organisational skills
  • Hardworking, flexible, pro-active team player with the ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Excellent IT skills (Microsoft Office)
  • Strong attention to detail and willingness to learn
  • Driving licence and own car for travel (mileage paid)


The Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • Annual holiday allowance 26 days increasing to 27 after 3yrs service and 28 after 5yrs service (plus bank holidays)
  • Life assurance 3 x salary
  • Single cover private medical insurance
  • Pension scheme 5% matched contribution level
  • Discretionary bonus scheme
  • Structured development programme

Plus a whole range of other employee benefits that we can tell you all about, our employees are rewarded for their performance, attitude and results.



 Thakeham is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and treating people fairly. We will treat all job applicants and employees equally regardless of age, race, religious belief, colour, ethnic or national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. We welcome applicants from all sectors of society and we are committed to promoting an inclusive environment for all.


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