Published: 24th Jul 2020

Website Essex_CC Essex County Council

Please note this is a 24 month fixed term contract.
Essex is a diverse county with areas of high deprivation through to affluent communities. Working to critically support the Essex growth agenda, the Planning Service will deliver a more consistent approach and better manage the complexity of relationships across City, District and Borough Councils and with developers, delivering well-balanced good quality development, addressing the housing, economic, infrastructure and environmental needs of communities and creating great places to live, work in and enjoy.
This is the most senior professional role, with responsibility for providing high quality, specialist development viability advice to support negotiations and decision making on planning applications. This post will also be required to lead and develop key areas of specific service improvement, in relation to infrastructure and service planning.
The role will work with different ECC services and District Councils to challenge and influence the system and approach currently employed, to maximise developer funded infrastructure contributions and offset unnecessary future public expenditure.

Role responsibilities
* Responsible for leading a programme of work, across several internal stakeholders and also district councils across Essex, in support of infrastructure and development viability, offering specialist advice to support negotiations and in providing pre-app advice.
* Responsible for evaluating, reviewing and challenge viability assessments submitted by developers and providing detailed assessments of these.
* Responsible for evaluating and reviewing Local Plan viability assessments as well as assisting with development of assessments where appropriate
* Responsible evaluating and reviewing master planning work, infrastructure delivery plans viability on large scale proposals and garden communities including delivery of stewardship models and specific infrastructure to address, for example, climate change.
* Responsible for providing a fee-based viability assessment service for use by all district and borough councils in Essex.
* Responsible for delivering comprehensive and timely input to negotiations on economic and financial issues to support and inform key strategic development schemes at the pre-application and planning application stage.
* Lead, challenge and engage District Councils to develop and embed best practice by providing development viability and economic expertise and market financial advice in order to secure the best possible infrastructure delivery in Essex.
* Responsible for critically analysing open book viability assessments provided by developers to advise whether development costs and anticipated revenues are accurate.
* Responsible for reviewing and advising senior leaders on emerging economic and financial issues for the Service, and advise customers, colleagues and key stakeholders in relation to economic, financial and statistical activities within the business area.
* Work collaboratively with officers across other organisations/councils, ECC officers and internal and external stakeholders.
* To attend meetings and training, internal and external, to present reports and provide training.Requirements:

* Educated to degree level in a relevant subject area (e.g. quantity surveying/economics/housing) or equivalent experience in financial viability and development viability issues.
* Evidence of continuing professional development and expert knowledge in relevant professional area.
* Ability to analyse complex financial and development information and produce robust challenges and proposals to further develop issues.
* Detailed knowledge at a senior level of financial viability, residual land values, financial viability modelling and negotiation practices and a good understanding of the planning development environment.
* Ability to work independently without direct supervision, with the ability to manage and prioritise own workload to meet deadlines.
* Ability to successfully influence a wide range of internal and external partners, and ensure good relationship management, with an ability to see the big strategic picture and think long-term.
* Excellent written, verbal, listen skills and presentation skills to a variety of audiences including presenting information to elected member at both a formal and informal level.

As part of employment with Essex County Council (ECC) should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please visit:

Essex County Council is proud to offer an excellent benefits package to all its employees. More information can be found on

Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.

We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is key to our success.

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