Job Title Planner/Senior Planner
Role Type Permanent/Full Time
Reports to Regional Head of Planning
Home based with 2 days per week in the Wokingham office and occasional travel to Billingshurst office
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 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 members with sound knowledge of planning processes and practices to join the planning team. We are flexible with regard to the level of experience applicants have, the key thing for us is to find the right people to join our team. Having a foundation in preparing and submitting application work would be preferable and some strategic promotion experience advantageous, although we will work with successful candidate to broaden and deepen their strategic and application expertise and experience.
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 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 continue to grow.
The key responsibilities are:
Management of assigned portfolio sites:
- Responsible for preparing and maintaining assigned portfolio sites’ planning strategies
- Responsible for supporting Head of Planning effectively progressing assigned portfolio sites to develop and progress an agreed promotional / application strategy in a timely manner
- Providing support to managing and instruct a full consultant team (internal and/or external) as appropriate to ensure the progression of the scheme in accordance with an approved strategy
- Drafting local and neighbourhood plan submissions/representations/hearing statements or (where appropriate) critiquing external consultants submissions/reps to be submitted on behalf of Thakeham
- Liaison with internal departments to ensure sites are progressed and handed over to internal teams in a timely and comprehensive manner
- Working alongside appropriate senior Planning colleagues, managing and building relationships with landowners alongside Development Executive colleagues to ensure all contractual requirements are discharged
- Working on the progression of planning applications including S106 / CIL discussions, overseeing or undertaking the drafting and later discharge of conditions and progression of related Reserved Matters applications
- Working with senior Planning colleagues, Design and Development Executive colleagues to work up vision documents, masterplans, phasing plans, density plans and parameter plans that are policy/legally/contractually compliant; implementable and legibly interpret and incorporate Thakeham visions, values and brands
- Production of robust and timely reports
- Liaising with internal teams to ensure compliance with the planning permission
- Liaising with the LPA and other stakeholders
- Assisting in producing budgets and cashflows for each assigned portfolio site and monitoring and maintaining the same to ensure strong financial hygiene for the project
Planning Appraisals/Due Diligence:
- Completing Planning Appraisals for all new potential development sites and supporting in District wide appraisals reporting to relevant Regional Head of Planning for that site
- Undertaking due diligence on prospective new sites for our Thakeham Partnership company, reporting to relevant Regional Head of Planning
- Undertaking site searches, working alongside our land colleagues, to identify new site opportunities
- Working with senior Planning colleagues to advise Land colleagues of the most appropriate strategy, including production of planning strategies for inclusion within contracts
- Attend project meetings, liaison with the LPA and stakeholders to ensure (working alongside relevant Head of Planning) the project is progressed in a timely manner.
- Attend internal meetings to represent the planning department.
- Attend meetings, functions and networking events with prospective landowners, development partners and stakeholders promoting Thakeham Group’s expertise
National/Regional Representations & Monitoring/Updating on Changes:
- Providing support as request to collate ideas/evidence and draft representations to national/regional/local policy, law and guidance in order to represent Thakeham’s best interests
- Advise on general planning changes and updates in National and Local policies and advise of any likely impact of such changes, and to participate in team CPD or to advise on content of external CPD attended
- Provide support alongside other team members to collate various pieces of intel e.g. weekly appeal trackers; 5YHLS trackers
This list is not exhaustive. Tasks will be allocated to reflect increasing levels of development and experience.
The Required Skills
- Chartered membership of either RTPI/RICS Town Planning with post qualification experience is essential. However, applicants who are not but have breadth and depth of planning experience that reflects the requirements of this role are also welcomed
- Excellent knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel & Outlook)
- Excellent communication skills and confidence to liaise with people internally and externally
- Strong attention to detail and organisational skills
- Effective time management skills
- Professional approach with high degree of discretion
- Hardworking, flexible, pro-active team player with the ability to work to tight deadlines
- Team player
- Willing to be flexible and get involved with a wide range of tasks
- Ability to work on own initiative and generate solutions
- Can-do attitude and able to take the initiative
- Ideally the applicant will have a number of years of experience within a property, land or planning team relevant to the level of position they are applying for
- Full driving licence
- Competitive salary
- Annual holiday allowance 26 days increasing to 27 after 3yrs service and 28 after 5yrs service (plus bank holidays)
- Life assurance
- Private medical insurance
- Health screening
- Pension scheme
- Bonus scheme
- Flexible working hours in a modern office environment / Working from Home Policy
- Excellent development and progression opportunities for the right candidate
- Company Social events
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.