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Are you ready for a career as a planning inspector?

05 November 2018 Author: Rebecca Phillips

At the Planning Inspectorate, our varied casework needs different levels of experience and so we are offering new routes to develop and bring the best talent into the Planning Inspectorate at different stages of their careers.

We are excited to announce a recruitment campaign that will include a new post of Appeals Planning Officers alongside two different entry-levels of Inspectors: Band 1 Inspectors which is the entry-level we usually recruit at and Band 2 Inspectors who would deal with more complex appeals and case work.

These posts are critical to delivering front line planning services. The new Appeals Planning Officer roles are designed to provide an opportunity for graduates with relevant experience to join us at a much earlier point in their careers.

The role is similar to a Band 1 Inspector but based on similar principles to Local Planning Authority’s delegated powers where they will be making recommendations on lower level Written Representation appeals to an Inspector. There will also be opportunities to work in enforcement and specialist casework and in a supporting role for development plan Inspectors.   

It is a fantastic opportunity whether individuals are looking to benefit from the training our Inspectors receive, work on a diverse number of projects alongside our top Inspectors on development plan examinations, national infrastructure projects or major casework or have ambitions to become Inspectors within the country’s largest organisation of planners.

 Planning Inspectors act as independent tribunals conducting their own casework on a variety of appeals as well as enforcement appeals.  The case work is varied and there are opportunities for Inspectors to train and develop their knowledge and experience in different areas of specialist casework including historic heritage, environmental casework, waste, minerals, renewable energy and transport.

They need to work independently. For the most part they are home-based and thus need to be fairly self-reliant and able to adhere to deadlines and targets for preparing for cases, making travel arrangements, setting timetables and/or agendas, conducting events whether they are site visits, hearings or inquiries and writing up their decisions, reports or recommendations. 

The day-to-day challenges a Planning Inspector faces is the ability to work independently and remotely, though of course we support our Inspectors whether through professional advice and support or help with IT equipment.   

The unique qualities we seek out in candidates to fill these roles include independence of thought, problem-solving, the ability to read through evidence and get to the heart of the issues quickly  as well as writing concisely and convincingly. Inspectors also need to adhere to the Frank’s principles of openness, fairness and impartiality.  

As a RTPI learning partner  we understand the importance of supporting staff to develop their careers and undertake a wide variety of planning casework as part of continuing professional development. We also understand the value of promoting professional membership and we pay relevant professional membership subscriptions like that of the RTPI.

The recruitment of Appeals Planning Officers rather than just Inspectors is a new initiative. We hope that it will be successful and enable us to develop new ways of working and to develop the careers of new planners. 

We recognise the benefits of providing opportunities for graduates and those in the early stages of their planning careers to gain a wide variety of experience in different areas of planning as it is such an interesting and rewarding career.

The closing date for all posts is 11 November. You can watch a video to get more details on these roles:

Appeals Planning Officer 

Inspectors

Guest blogs may not represent the views of the RTPI.

Rebecca Phillips

Rebecca Phillips

Rebecca Phillips is Group Manager, Planning at The Planning Inspectorate.