Welcome from Tracey Birkinshaw, Director of communities and economic development

Tracey Birkinshaw - Director of planning place and growth

Thank you for your interest in the roles of:

  • Head of development management, enforcement and compliance
  • Head of policy and placemaking

Dear Future Colleague,

Thank you for your interest in what I hope you will agree are two dynamic roles that will support Cheltenham in driving the future of development, I am very much looking forward to receiving your application.

So you may be asking yourself – why two roles?  Well, we are a learning council and on the back of a recent peer review, engagement with our staff and leadership team, alongside looking at the agenda ahead, we feel that focussed and innovative leadership for planning within a commercial environment is key.  Alongside the process side of planning we want to position Cheltenham as the place to invest, whilst ensuring we protect our valuable environment and heritage, delivering quality and sustainable place outcomes and improving outcomes for our residents and  customers.  To do this we need the capacity to drive thinking and change, supporting our staff and elected members on that journey.

This is an incredible time to come to the borough, as we look to deliver our exciting place shaping strategy built into our corporate plan and harness our growth potential. We are working on both high profile and challenging projects together with a focus on performance. We have game-changing and transformational projects underway across Cheltenham. These set an agenda where there will be a real opportunity for you to make a difference.

Building on the council’s commitments in relation to climate change and the zero carbon agenda you will have a passion for helping to deliver change. You will play an important role in developing our thinking around 15 minute cities, its application across development and how we can enable people to live and work locally. Can you help us become the greenest council in the UK?

Cheltenham is a great place to live and to work. The council is vital to ensuring the borough has the services, infrastructure and support that will underpin the growth we are experiencing. If we are to succeed for the long term we will need to work with our partners and neighbours to deliver new homes, new business areas, new heritage and cultural offers and improved connectivity.

The borough has some real jewels in its crown, but we need to be much more proactive in capitalising on these, creating new opportunities for growth, working more efficiently with our partners to ensure co-ordination of effort and driving investment and funding.

We are already taking a leading role in a number of transformative new initiatives, including:

  • Golden Valley development, a smart urban /garden community based around the cutting edge cyber industry and delivery of the UK’s Cyber Innovation Centre. This is a priority for delivery
  • North West Cheltenham urban extension – Elms Park
  • Investing £100 million to drive forward housing delivery in the Borough
  • Key town centre regeneration sites
  • Reimagining the future of the High Street, developing our thinking innovatively within the context of a town centre vision to plan for a mixed and vibrant centre
  • Joint plan making with our neighbours Gloucester City and Tewkesbury Borough
  • Major infrastructure bids and delivery, such as M5 Junction10

We are a small local authority with big ambitions. Do you want to join us and help us continue the path of delivery of our vision within an award winning council?

I see these posts as excellent opportunities for either an experienced head of planning with a passion for delivering growth agendas, or a talented and ambitious deputy who has already demonstrated their ability to contribute in a leadership capacity. In return, I can offer flexible working arrangements and a dynamic team that will deliver a service relevant within a modern local government environment. You will be pivotal in helping us achieve our outcomes and placing Cheltenham and Gloucestershire on the map as a place to come and do business, to study to live and to visit.

I hope this brief introduction has fired your enthusiasm to come to Cheltenham and I hope very much to meet you as the recruitment process unfolds.

Good luck!

Tracey Birkinshaw, Director of communities and economic development