Deputy Chief Planning Director
Be First (London Borough of Barking & Dagenham)
Permanent, full time position

Be First is a pioneering urban regeneration company wholly owned by, but operating independently from, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD). Be First’s mission is to accelerate growth and capitalise on the borough’s position as London’s hottest investment and development opportunity.

We are a property developer, including commercial agency, construction and planning consultancy, and undertake statutory planning and building control services on behalf of the Council. We utilise council and commercial investment resources to acquire sites, secure planning permission and build out new residential and commercial developments.

This is an important senior position within Be First’s Planning & Building Control Team, reporting into, and working closely with the Chief Planning Director. You will play a central role in establishing a working culture that promotes excellence and a commitment to getting things done. The Team currently comprises 33 people, and it is anticipated you will be responsible for Development Management, including Transport Management, Building Control and Planning Administration. Planning Consultancy will report directly into the Chief Planning Director, alongside Planning Policy which will be headed up by a Head of Planning Policy, Transport & Infrastructure. The whole team is undergoing significant transformation as part of Be First, with the intention of becoming much more dynamic, proactive, and solution-driven. There is therefore significant scope for helping to shape the Team’s growth and direction of travel.

Under the overall direction of the Chief Planning Director, you will be expected to play a lead role in:

- Providing professional leadership in the Team’s management, proactively managing employees and resources, including budgets, achievement and target setting, training (etc.);

- Evaluating the Team’s performance to identify priorities for continuous improvement and raising standards, whilst ensuring positive employee participation and effective communication;

- Helping employees to understand and fulfil their statutory responsibilities through observation, feedback and support;

Supervising the mini-teams in dealing with development management, building control and planning administration matters and strategic applications, identifying development opportunities, encouraging appropriate schemes, and managing the approval process.

- Contributing to the Team’s corporate growth, inputting into strategic documents like the Be First Business Plan, shaping relevant KPIs and ensuring that these are subsequently met;

- Supporting and representing the Chief Planning Director at meetings) as and when required;

- Communicating effectively with Members, local communities, other senior colleagues and Council officers, and external bodies and stakeholders to deliver good and timely outcomes;

- Ensuring employees are aware of and implement relevant legislation, guidance and

corporate strategies and initiatives;

- Monitoring the effectiveness of planning decisions and evaluating this as a means of continuous improvement.

Where you have previously worked is not critical - it could be in the public or private sector, in a research team or within a think tank .What is critical is that you can look at the wider picture and think strategically to anticipate development, transport and infrastructure needs, and then utilise planning policy tools to drive and achieve development outcomes. It is anticipated that you will have a depth of experience, but what is infinitely more important is what you have learnt from your experience and where you see yourself headed in the future that than any number of years spent working.

Applicants should:

- Be a confident, robust leader and able to get to the nub of an issue quickly, with an attitude of resolving problems effectively and efficiently;

- Be technically astute, practical and self-motivated, and have a genuine interest in the built environment;

- Have a commercial understanding of the property sector, and where planning sits within it, recognising that planning policy is a tool, not an oracle;

- Have strong programme and project management skills and experience, and be able to demonstrate delivery;

- Be output-focused, and able to exercise initiative and good judgement.

It’s an exciting time to join Be First, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Closing date for this role is the 7th October 2019.

Please note all direct applications will be forwarded directly to Berwick Partners our retained recruitment partners for this exciting assignment. Contact Marek Dobrowolski. marek.dobrowolski@berwickpartners.co.uk

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