Principal Highway Planning Officer

£33,136 - £37,107 per annum
11 Jun 2018
25 Jun 2018
Job role
Contract Type
Full time

Our busy team provides highway advice on a variety of planning applications across the county, working with developers to find solutions which unlock new housing and economic development and negotiating legal agreements, which secure improvements to our highway and transport networks.

We are passionate and committed to transforming our communities by enabling high quality development which is safe and accessible; working to create desirable places for people to live and work as part of Somerset’s ambitious growth plans, from small development sites though to major enterprise zones and extensions to our main towns including Taunton’s new garden communities.

Somerset provides fantastic opportunities to become engaged in some of the most ambitious growth projects in the Country whether you are early in your career and seeking to develop your experience, or whether you are an experienced professional.

About the Job

You would have your own caseload of development proposals across the County, providing advice about the highways and transport implications to planning authorities, developers, agents, consultants and elected politicians. You would either be a lead officer or providing support depending on your level of experience. The range of development proposals that you will consider is diverse, including housing sites throughout Somerset’s many towns and villages, new business parks and employment sites, new schools, supermarkets, retail areas and major regeneration zones.  The range of opportunities is both challenging and rewarding. Somerset provides the opportunity to get involved in some of the UK’s most high-profile growth initiatives including, new garden communities, housing infrastructure fund, enterprise zones, and national infrastructure projects such as Hinkley Point C.

Day to day activity will involve:

• Providing pre-application advice to developers when plans are at an early stage,

• Visiting sites to gain a clear understanding of the implications of new development and possible solutions,

• Agreeing the scope of technical assessments that developers need to undertake to assess the impacts of new development,

• Agreeing any changes to highways and transport networks needed to accommodate new development,

• Providing formal observations on planning applications,

• Providing evidence for planning appeals and planning examinations/ inquiries. More experienced staff will represent the Council at examinations and inquiries.

• Forming legal agreements with developer which secure planning obligations and financial contributions necessary to enable development to take place,

• Communicating with communities and individuals affected by proposals

• Engaging and building relationships with a range of parties including planning authorities, applicants, developers, agents, consultants and legal advisors.

The Principal Planning officer role will have a caseload of more complex planning applications and will represent the Council within the various planning processes. We have roles at other levels that will be working on smaller and less complex applications with the aim to move on to more complex matters having developed more experience.

About You

• Educated to degree level or equivalent through relevant professional development.

• Principal officer role will require experience of working in the planning system preferably with experience in dealing with highways and transportation matters.

• Ability to understand maps and plans, and assimilate information from technical reports.

• Ability to read and understand policies, procedures and technical guidance (for instance on highway access and layout).

• Ability to assess the implications of proposals and work with people to develop appropriate solutions (for example to ensure that access arrangements are safe and appropriate).

• Ability to prepare observations and communicate them clearly and unambiguously in writing and verbally to a range of audiences.

• Ability to manage multiple cases concurrently work according to set deadlines for providing observations and comments. 

If you would like to find out more about these exciting opportunities before applying, please get in touch with Mike O’Dowd Jones on 07977 412097 or email

To download and submit an application form and job details, or to upload your CV and supporting statement,

Closing date: 25 June 2018   

Interview date: w/c  02 July 2018