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Jobs at Aberdeenshire Council

A Career in Planning

computersAre you interested in making better and more sustainable places for everyone to live, work and enjoy?

The planning system influences changes in the built and natural environment through the vision for the future set out in development plans, and through agreeing planning permission for new developments.

The aim is to get the right development in the right place at the right time, which results in quality places where people want to be. Public involvement is fundamental to making the right decisions about the future of a place and is vital to good planning.

The Planning Service is mainly concerned with three planning functions:

• Development Planning – informing and directing policy at local and national levels through the preparation of policy documents and ensuring that suitable land becomes available for development.

• Development Management – processing planning applications for all developments.

• Environment Planning – enhancement of the natural environment and the built heritage of an area.

Chartered Town Planners in all the above planning functions manage a variety of competing demands and uses for space. Planners balance social, economic and environmental needs to shape the way that cities/towns and rural areas grow to create great sustainable places and communities for everyone. Consideration has to be given to housing needs, transport, shopping and leisure facilities, industrial and business needs in addition to the protection of the countryside, species, historic buildings and archaeological features.

regenerationDevelopment Planning
Planners are involved in the creation of Development plans. These are critical in guiding where development can take place, and where it is unlikely to be permitted. They are the basis for dealing with planning applications and contain policies for the future development and use of land in an area. They cover a wide range of issues such as housing, transport, employment, shopping, recreation, conservation and protection of the countryside.

Development Management
Planners working in development management are responsible for bringing together all the matters relevant to an application, undertaking an assessment of all these competing matters (above) and making a balanced recommendation on whether to grant or refuse planning permission.

Environment Planning
Planners in this area of planning focus on planning to protect towns, coastlines, rural areas, species, historic buildings, regenerates declining places and creating new environments. An Environment Planner works towards preserving the best of the past and safeguarding, sustaining and enhancing both the natural and built heritage which is irreplaceable.

What qualifications and experience do you need?
A degree in planning, or a planning related discipline recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), is normally required to become a Planner. In Environmental Planning, depending on the nature of the work, other qualifications may be acceptable e.g. environmental management.

Entry requirements for University degree courses vary, although in general four Highers at BBBB would ensure entry. Higher Geography can be advantageous although it is not essential. Other useful subjects include: economics and political studies, environmental science, government and political studies, maths, physical science and sociology.
For more information on Universities and specific requirements:

35530Once you have completed your degree and are employed as a graduate you need to gain your professional practice qualification. You are required to work as a Planner for a minimum of 2 years before you would be eligible to apply for full membership of the RTPI. All planners are committed to continuing professional development and the ‘Assessment of Professional Competence’ (APC) ensures that a high standard in the quality of planners is achieved by membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

In Aberdeenshire Council obtaining full membership leads to an increase in salary in line with our professional development scheme.

The Planning Service encourages Planners to move between the various sections in order that a breadth of experience can be gained.

Future Career Opportunities
We are always keen to be involved in training our own staff, providing both financial and office-based support to trainees. In recent years we have assisted a number of staff members to study for a post-graduate planning qualification on a part-time basis.

For further information contact:

Planning Service
Woodhill House
Westburn Road
Aberdeen, AB16 5GB
Telephone: 01224 664728

Alternatively, you could contact the RTPI:
Royal Town Planning Institute
41 Botolph Lane