The retirement of the current postholder in July creates an excellent opportunity to build on the achievements of his tenure in the role. You’ll cover all the core Planning areas – policy, building control, heritage and conservation – but one of the key advantages of our shared service is that we also have in-house expertise in more complex disciplines such as urban design, archaeology and ecology.
Our shared service numbers 112 employees, and has a presence in both main council sites. We are well underway in embedding new ways of working that make the most of our join capacity, but there remains more to do – so we’ll encourage candidates who can bring a fresh eye to how we can continue to improve.
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With a nationwide shortage of talented planners, we also want to focus on retention strategies such as team/staff development. This is a real opportunity to shape a class-leading service, which will stand you in excellent professional stead for the future.
In addition to the core job of service management and leadership, there are three main strands to the role. First, our contribution to the review and update of the South Worcestershire Development Plan, which is a shared policy with Worcester City Council. The circumstances and planning potential of the three partner councils differ, and the challenge of producing a coherent, shared vision for the area is therefore an absorbing one. We’ll look to you to act as a key influencer and negotiator in this regard, with an eye to delivery as well as pragmatism.
Second, you’ll also be an important part of the six-strong Joint Management Team which delivers services for both our constituent councils, and we're looking for candidates who are ready for that step up in terms of visibility, accountability and a strategic approach. This means being ppen, entrepreneurial and leading across the councils. Positive, forward looking and politically astute, you'll form constructive relationships not only with elected members, but also civic groups, so that the development we deliver is of the highest quality.
Third, we are currently beginning work on Town Centre Master Plans for regeneration and development in our six principal towns – Pershore, Droitwich Spa and Evesham in Wychavon, and Great Malvern, Upton on Severn and Tenbury Wells in Malvern. These will be complex and highly scrutinised projects, requiring a consultative and sophisticated leadership style, as well as really high quality planning skills.
It’s a great opportunity for someone who’s ready to run a department. As well as a flair for partnership working and for inspiring teams, they will be able to demonstrate a track record of delivery at pace. We're looking for someone who can describe themselves as a 'positive planner' – someone who sees the opportunities presented by growth and wants to make the most of them. Innovation is an important factor – we're looking for new ways of doing things, as well as new aspects of infrastructure such as EV charging points.
The ability to work corporately is really important: the Director will work in external partnerships that are not necessarily about planning. You will need to influence and negotiate with people who might be sceptical about development, so you will need to show a track record of working effectively in this way, as well an an open and engaged management style.
It's essential that you enjoy working in a growth area, and can show that you understand how development can address the need for affordable housing and social infrastructure, such as schools, health and retail. You'll take an enterprising approach to seeing and maximising opportunities, as well as promoting the environment, our unsurpassed heritage offer, and the natural beauty of the area.
Visit the apply page to register your interest, and to download the job description and person specification.