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Senior Town Planner


Bristol, United Kingdom

Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services. Through our work, we make a positive difference in the world.

A senior planning position within the development planning team in West Consulting (Bristol or Cardiff) to work on a variety of projects (nationally significant infrastructure projects (highways, rail, energy), major residential development, consultation, policy advice and socio economic work).

Working as part of a team of twenty planners, reporting to associate/associate directors (grade 7-8)

A senior planner is responsible for supporting the team leader and associates within the planning team on a diverse range of planning projects. A senior planner will often take responsibility for a specific aspect of a project (e.g. preparing a planning application, drafting a report and meeting with clients or key stakeholders) and for smaller projects will be responsible for the delivery of the project in accordance with a client’s objectives and timescales.

Effectiveness Indicators:

Depth and breadth of planning consent and policy experience across a wide range of sectors (infrastructure, housing, etc.)
Ability and ideally experience of working with a range of client bodies, including both privates sector (promoters of infrastructure, utility companies and developers) and public sector (central and/or local government)
Ability to explain complex processes and highly technical subject matters in a way that is understandable – using plain English. For example presenting information to the public and community groups at consultation events.
Ownership of a personal development plan – agreed and updated at regular intervals with the team leader
Ability to identify issues or risks that affect the delivery of a project – identify measures to address the issue/ risk and agree with the team leader how these measures will be implemented

Underpinning Knowledge:

Detailed knowledge of development consents (Planning application) processes and strategies to secure consents for development projects
Understanding of how to prepare policy documents and to advice clients on policy issues at all levels – national through to local
Development of key stakeholder relationships – local authorities, community groups and government agencies
Report and presentation skills
Preparation of Tenders and proposals and taking a key role at interviews
Management of multidisciplinary teams – and understanding of how to integrate the work of other disciplines (engineering, environmental, design)


A good communicator who has high level of competency in listening, oral and written skills
Is a team player and comfortable and familiar of work with and managing other disciplines (environment, design, transport)
Has sound technical skills and has developed specialist planning knowledge in specific topics
Has a client focused approach – can demonstrate that ability to build client relationships over the long term
Understand the importance of working in a strong performance culture
Understands financial objectives of a large multi-disciplinary consultancy and will take responsibility for managing projects on time and within budget
Demonstrates a strong work ethic and is conscientious, meticulous and thorough
Experience of leading teams for small to medium projects – ideally within a multi-disciplinary environment
Good communicator - ensures that the work and outputs of a team are effectively communicated to both the client and a project director
Adaptable and able to flex to different team dynamics – comfortable with working with technical experts at a range of levels and can manage them in a way to maximise the potential of the team


Degree and/or masters in town planning and a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI)
Experience in town planning – ideally with experience of consultancy
Experience of leading teams
Experience of drafting planning reports/ strategies for clients, managing the preparation of planning applications and data analysis,
Experience of promotion, marketing and bid preparation,
Attending and leading client meetings and general contribution to the development of a planning business
Working with other groups within a multi-disciplinary environment (e.g. Environment, Transport and Project Management),
Developing working relationship with planners and other disciplines within an organisation and also in external forums
Experience of managing a challenging and varying workload which can change at short notice
Experience of financial accountability for projects and delivery within budget and programme
Experience of presenting to clients and key stakeholders and promoting a client’s interests through the use of a wide range of presentation techniques
Confident with proven interpersonal and communication skills


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