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Principal Planning Liaison Officer

Somerset Council
Taunton, Somerset
£39,186 to £43,421 per annum
Closing date
26 May 2024

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Transport Planning
Job role
Contract Type
Full time

Job Details

Some key information

  • This role offers hybrid working, allowing you to work either from home, with agreement from the manager, or from one of our offices
  • 30 days’ annual leave (plus bank holidays)
  • You will join a team passionate and committed to transforming our communities through high quality, safe and accessible development, whilst working to create desirable places for people to live and work as part of Somerset's ambitious growth plans
  • The contract offered is permanent and on a full time (37 hours) basis

What will I be doing?

Working in Somerset provides the opportunity to help improve lives of the people that live here. You could be a key part of that and allows you to get involved in some of the UK’s most high-profile growth initiatives, including new garden communities, housing infrastructure funds, enterprise zones, and national infrastructure projects such as Hinkley Point C and Gravity.

This provides the opportunity to take on a wide range of challenging and rewarding work – giving you valuable experience than can be difficult to find elsewhere.

Our team has a positive and supportive culture, and an environment that enables people to develop and improve which means that you’ll have everything you need to grow your career in planning.

As a Principal Planning Liaison Officer, you’ll be acting on behalf of the Highway Authority, providing advice on large scale and strategic planning applications to the Planning Authority as well as providing technical guidance to developers, councillors and other interested parties.

Our team has a wide range of different backgrounds, but it is important for this position that you have experience of the planning system.

The work is varied, but day to day activities will often include:

  • Offering guidance on a wider range of highways development management issues both pre-application and the planning process.
  • Agree the scope of technical assessments that developers need to undertake though our Vision and Validate approach for new developments.
  • Negotiating and securing highway works for all road users and contributions through legal agreements.
  • Deliver on the council’s message on better places through our place making principals.
  • Provide advice and guidance and develop junior members of the team.
  • Advise Senior Management on specific highways development matters
  • Undertaking investigations into planning/political and technical issues.
  • Representing the Highway Authority at planning committee meetings and appeals.
  • Engage and build relationships with a range of parties including planning, developers and consultants.

What kind of experience or qualifications do I need?

We offer a range of ongoing support, training and guidance to help you to be the best you can be. It is essential that you are educated to a degree level or have relevant professional experience.

Experience of working in the planning system would be desirable and having experience of highways development management would be preferable. You would need to be able to work to deadlines, read and understand policies, procedures and guidance as well be a good communicator.

We’re proud to be here for the people of Somerset. And that means everyone in Somerset. An important part of this is ensuring that we are as diverse and inclusive as the people and communities we serve.

We welcome applications from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences to enrich our team. You can always contact the hiring manager for a chat if there’s anything you want to talk about before you apply.

What's in it for me?

We are proud to offer an environment that is supportive and rewarding, working as part of a team who are passionate about the work they do to improve the lives of people in Somerset.

We offer great training and development opportunities, with supportive management. As well as this, we have some fantastic employee benefits available:

  • We promote a healthy work-life balance and offer flexible working arrangements wherever possible, including working from home.
  • Generous annual leave allowance, with the opportunity to purchase additional leave
  • Staff discounts in gyms.
  • Employee Assistance for the times you may need some support and a variety of employee wellbeing services.
  • Auto enrolment onto our generous Pension Scheme and optional pension enhancement through our Additional Voluntary Contribution scheme.
  • A Flexible Benefits Scheme via salary sacrifice to obtain a cycle for work and health screenings.
  • My Staff Shop offering discounts in shops, online shopping, restaurants, cinema tickets, insurance benefits and more

Anything else I should know?

For an informal chat about the role, you can contact Jon Fellingham, Service Manager Highways Dev Management, on 01823 356298 or email

The Salary for the role is Grade 9, ranging from £39,186 - £43,421 per annum.

When completing your application/CV please provide your full employment history and ensure that any gaps in employment are explained. Please start with your current or most recent employment.

If you have all the information you need, just hit the apply button - we can’t wait to hear from you.


The Council’s duties and services

The Council’s duties and services are managed by the elected councillors (known within the Council as ‘members’) through its democratic structure.

In accordance with government legislation, the Unitary Council has:

  • Appointed a Leader of Council, who has formed a single party Executive of ten members (together they take key decisions and are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Council)
  • Five cross party Scrutiny Committees:
    • Scrutiny for Climate and Place
    • Scrutiny for Children and Families
    • Scrutiny for Adults and Health
    • Scrutiny for Communities
    • Scrutiny for Corporate and Resources
  • A Licensing and Regulatory Committee responsible for the Council’s licensing functions
  • A Strategic Planning Committee, along with 4 Area Planning Committees responsible for the Council’s planning and regulatory functions
  • A Health and Wellbeing Board involving representatives from several partners

The Unitary Council of 110 elected members is responsible for deciding the democratic arrangements for the Council, agreeing our policy framework and each year’s budget.

Company info
0300 123 2224
County Hall

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