Application information

Artists impression of cyber central garden community showing the cyber hub, people and water feature

We are recruiting for two full time roles:

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

Reporting to: Director of communities and economic development
Responsible for: Cheltenham Borough Council planning team
Hours: 37 hours per week
Salary: Up to £66,050 pending 2023 pay award
Location: Cheltenham (can also accommodate some flexible home working)

Closing date for applications: Sunday 9 July 2023

Cheltenham Borough Council is seeking to appoint two dynamic people to lead our award-winning planning service at what is an incredibly exciting time for the town.

Our ambitious corporate plan presents huge opportunities for the town and our role in driving forward economic growth. This role 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. And with a number of high profile, transformative but also challenging projects, there is a significant opportunity for you to make a real difference.

Cheltenham is recognised nationally as a great place to live and work. The council is vital to ensuring the borough has the services, infrastructure and support that will underpin the growth we're 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.

We're looking for innovative, creative and commercially focused individuals who can harness these game-changing opportunities.

The roles

Head of development management, enforcement and compliance

You will be the focal point for development management and enforcement regulatory processes. You will possess the skills to confidently secure the best outcomes for the people of the borough by supervising a demanding workload of often complex applications, appeals and investigations. You will excel at negotiation and mediation to help remove barriers to delivery.

Head of policy and placemaking

You will be the focus point for driving strategic planning outcomes within the changing backdrop at a local and national level. Ensuring resilient outcomes you will help drive a positive and proactive approach to infrastructure planning and delivery.

Both roles

These two roles will work closely together putting creativity and problem solving at the core of helping to deliver a high quality and innovative planning service. 

You will need to have both technical expertise and strong leadership qualities that enable you to work at a strategic level; the responsibilities in the role profile reflect this.

You will display visible leadership focused on delivering high performance, including continuous improvements and efficiencies, and finding creative solutions and innovations that will drive and embed the culture of a forward thinking planning service within an increasingly commercial environment. 

You will be able to engage with a range of individuals, including elected members, industry experts and internal stakeholders, alongside our wider community. As a result, the roles will require individuals who have a proven track record of successful stakeholder management and engagement. There is a strong need to have an excellent political awareness; you will be the 'day to day' face of the team which will also include liaison with members and ensuring effective and ongoing training and mentoring.

Ultimately we are looking for experienced managers, but we would also welcome applications from candidates looking to step up in their career where you can demonstrate the drive and committment.

To be successful you will need:

  • Professional qualification in planning or related discipline to degree level, appropriate to the remit of the role, or equivalent by experience
  • Membership of a relevant professional body
  • Evidence of extensive continual professional development
  • Extensive experience in the development sector and be able to demonstrate delivery of complex and high profile development
  • Experience of effectively performance managing a diverse workforce and responding to diverse communities
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a political environment and establish effective working relationships with elected members, members of the public and other community bodies

For further information read more about the roles or download the job description and person specification.

What can we do for you?

  • An excellent pension scheme. You will be eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
  • A generous holiday entitlement of 25 days rising to 30 days after five years. Part-time employees receive a pro rata entitlement of 25 days
  • A flexible and agile working environment. We aim to provide opportunities to work from home or elsewhere and offer flexibility in working hours
  • A comprehensive programme of learning and development
  • Two days paid time off for volunteering
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity schemes
  • An employee counselling service
  • Free eye tests (for some posts) and contribution towards the cost of glasses
  • A cycle to work scheme
  • Low cost town centre parking
  • A commitment to employee wellbeing

How to apply

For a confidential, informal discussion about the roles, please contact Tracey Birkinshaw on 01242 264126. Alternatively you can email any questions you have to [email protected].

Please submit an up-to-date copy of your CV, along with a supporting statement (four sides of A4 maximum). We would like to see focussed information that tell us about your skills, knowledge, qualifications, experience and how they meet the criteria listed above and in the job description and person specification. It’s important that we’re a good fit for each other, so let us know what’s important to you and why you want to work for Cheltenham Borough Council. Documents should be emailed to [email protected]

Please clearly mark which role you are applying for.

Applications should include:

  • Your full contact details
  • Names, positions, organisations, and contact details for two referees (we will ask your permission before contacting referees)
  • Notification of any dates when you are not available throughout the recruitment process
  • Your application will not be considered if you have not provided a supporting statement, in addition to your CV

It is important that our staff reflect the diversity of our community, and we therefore welcome and encourage applications from people of all genders and sexual orientation, those from Black, Asian, and other minority ethnic backgrounds, and those with disabilities.

Our organisation is committed to safeguarding the welfare of vulnerable adults, young people and children.  Safer recruitment practices are applied to all job vacancies. Successful candidates will be required to complete a pre-employment medical questionnaire and provide references; proof of identity, nationality and immigration status; three years’ employment or education history (if applicable) and, in some cases, verification of criminal record.


We will be adopting a dynamic approach to interviews. This means we will be interviewing throughout the recruitment process, so please look to apply as early as possible if this advert has sparked your interest.

We are an equal opportunity employer.