Town Planning job description

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Jobs in town planning involve short and long-term decision-making on the development and management of the UK’s cities, towns and villages as well as the countryside. The careful balancing of conflicts between the needs of housing, transport, the environment, agriculture, industrial development and regeneration allows sustainable development to take place. The resolution of competing views of local communities and business interests is an essential part of this job.
Town and country planning is a broad-based area of work requiring a number of skills including liaising with all involved parties on the creation of planning solutions. Negotiating skills are paramount as planners will need to consult with developers, architects and surveyors. Scheduling resources to meet targets, assessing planning applications, analysing data and updating changes in planning laws are all skills needed in this job, as is strong environmental awareness.
Salaries vary widely, depending on geographic location, experience and qualifications, with local authorities the main employers. A relevant degree and accredited membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute can result in a salary of up to £80,000 for senior positions, with starting salaries of around £30,000.

Description

Town Planners are required to help to shape the way cities and towns develop. They balance the competing demands related to transport, business, leisure and housing and ensure projects meet the social and economic needs of a community. These professionals also assess potential negative or positive impact of plans for new buildings and roads.

Town Planners usually perform many of the following tasks:
• Developing parks in a sustainable way.
• Redesigning street layouts.
• Creating energy efficient and affordable homes.
• Enforcing planning controls.
• Hearing concerns about planning proposals.

Skills

• Having experience in GIS systems and CAD software.
• Having high attention to details.
• Being able to work with a team.
• Having good report writing skills.
• Being able to analyse complex data.
• Having good negotiation skills.
• Being able to deal with stressful circumstances.
• Having good time management skills.
• Being able to work with people from different backgrounds.
• Being organised.

Education

People who want to work as a Town Planner require an accredited qualification from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Among qualification modalities accredited by this institution are full time degree courses, postgraduate courses, distance learning courses, among other qualifications. Subjects available are built environment, planning and architecture, town and country planning, environmental planning, and civic design. Candidates that have an application accredited by the RTPI can start as assistant planners or graduate planners.

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