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MOJ Property Directorate – Head of Town Planning – 48900
£60,504 - £7,200,063,866


We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:

Travel to 102 Petty France, London and to prison sites required as and when.


The MoJ Property Directorate is a customer focused organisation that exists to enable our customers to perform to their very best.  We do this by providing high quality, easy to use services, and working environments that our customers want to work in, which support them to deliver their individual outputs efficiently.  Our job is to manage one of the most diverse and complex estates in Government – hosted by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).  As of 2 April 2021, the Prisons Maintenance Group (or PMG) join MoJ Estates Directorate and the team receives a new title, MoJ Property.   This change will align us with our Profession – the Property Profession – and brings together a property portfolio including Prisons, Probation, and MoJ HQ and Arms Length Bodies.  We also provide property services on behalf of the Home Office.

MoJ Property provides specialist services including facilities management, health and safety, fire safety and security, technical design expertise, and sustainability.  We also have business management teams who support the entire Directorate and each of our partners is supported by account management teams.  We are responsible for a great deal – our portfolio consists of properties valued at £8.5bn for the MoJ alone.  We are part of the Government Property Profession (GPP) and through active membership and engagement we will work with the Office of Government Property to develop the maturity of the profession and also encourage our people to join the GPP. We continue to build our capability through training and recruitment, aspiring to be the best that we can be as individuals and as a directorate.

We continue to deliver new ways of working across our portfolio – leading on the scale and pace of activity for central government – proposing ways to achieve, and then providing more dynamic and flexible workspace, while driving down the cost of the estate.

Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities

The Town Planning Lead will play a key role in supporting the delivery of a programme of new prison development and other associated built infrastructure across MoJ’s estate. The successful candidate will be responsible for advising on all planning aspects of prison and related infrastructure delivery nationwide. This is a senior ole in the team which primarily involves providing initial and on-going advice on strategic and site-specific planning issues; ensuring that planning advice is available through the life of a project; that suitable planning strategies are in place to ensure the timely delivery of planning permissions; and planning risk is appropriately assessed through the life of a project. An important part of the role is to ensure that the quality and level of planning and related technical expertise is provided and maintained by contractors as part of the contractor’s acceptance of planning risk.

Day to day the role will require the successful candidate to:

  • Being the lead source of advice on all planning related matters across a wide geography from site selection to site delivery;
  • Identify and pro-actively resolve planning problems as they arise to minimise impact on programme delivery and provide challenge and an escalation route to senior management;
  • Appoint and manage external planning and legal professionals, (including agreement of scope and on-going liaison) to provide input on projects as required;
  • Engage with contractors to monitor progress and performance on the delivery of implementable planning permissions;
  • Provide planning advice within Ministerial and other formal submissions in relation to MoJ’s decision making processes and review advice provided by other planning advisors including appointed consultants;
  • Develop & maintain effective relationships to work with property, legal, commercial and technical experts to ensure that wider programme and department objectives are met;
  • Identify / implement planning process improvements that could deliver better day-to-day working practices;
  • Disseminate information on changes to the planning system where this will be beneficial to operational delivery, efficiency and meeting programme objectives;
  • Track the planning status of all projects and ensure accurate reporting and timely completion of commissions to support programme analysis;
  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships with MHCLG, local planning authorities (and other key stakeholders) and work with MoJ colleagues (including HMPPS and HMCTS) on other initiatives to support the delivery of prison infrastructure;
  • Provide strategic advice and recommendations on the need for representations to Local Plans and local policy where relevant, with the aim of gaining greater policy certainty on sites at an earlier stage in the process;
  • Input expertise to assist senior managers with programme strategy and policy development, incorporating lessons learnt from projects and the wider experience of the market, urban planning and Government infrastructure projects.
  • Leadership and management – development of a team of planning professionals.

As part of the role, the successful candidate will have responsibility for c. 50 active projects and oversee other projects nation-wide. The role requires effective prioritisation of work and balancing competing demands. The successful candidate will work at a senior levels and develop close working relationships with other members of the Infrastructure Delivery Team and with other representatives from MoJ to support the delivery of new prison infrastructure and disseminate good practice.

Skills and Experience


  • Established reputation as a trusted advisor, with a proven track record of managing and delivering large scale private and/or public sector infrastructure projects and securing planning solutions.
  • Experienced at building relationships at a senior level, particularly with Local Authorities and other public sector organisations.
  • Senior level technical leadership in a complex organisation and providing written and oral briefings
  • Being inspiring, confident and empowering as a visible and approachable leader

Highly Desirable

  • Successful experience of leading and managing a strategic agenda and delivering challenging programmes in a complex environment to tight timescales and in challenging work environments
  • Project or programme management experience, particularly in construction
  • Awareness of Government Property Profession


  • Qualified Town Planner (MRTPI and/or RICS) with at least 10 years post qualification experience

Government Property Profession (GPP) Technical Skills

The GPP Framework is aimed at staff working in property or property-related roles and consider property to be their career anchor profession. This usually encompasses posts where professional qualifications and experience are directly relevant to the work being undertaken. However, it is also applicable to those who are currently not qualified property practitioners but wish to make this their profession of choice. Those with a property background at any level are encouraged to register with the GPP, which exists to support property practitioners at all levels. Details of the GPP Career Framework can be found at:–2

This role falls under Planning & Development Senior Practitioner and some or all of the following Technical Skills will be tested during the selection process:

  • Strategic Planning – Level 3
  • Professional Practice – Level 4
  • Application of Knowledge & Expertise – Level 4
  • Customer Focus – Level 3

It is key that the successful candidate can demonstrate Achieving  Effective Planning Outcomes – Supplying creative, value for money business solutions for planning requirements and understanding, modelling and explaining planning drivers and outcomes.


We will assess you against some or all of these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating & Influencing
  • Managing a quality service
  • Leadership
  • A driven, innovative and collaborative leader of people and projects, you demonstrate impressive commercial and financial acumen and can communicate your professional planning knowledge to non-experts effectively
  • Liaise with and lead, if required, multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Confidently engage with stakeholders and colleagues to generate commitment and build trust

Flexible working hours

The successful candidate will need to be available to be in at various MoJ sites including London HQ as required and often for 2 to 3 days in a week to attend meetings with Local Authorities, in MoJ offices and/or on site.

The Property Directorate offers a flexible working system in many teams. Requests for reduced hours contracts will be considered in line with business needs.

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. We are happy to accommodate any reasonable adjustments you may require during the selection process. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit:

The Property Directorate is supportive of and encourages flexible working subject to local agreement. Non-civil service candidates would typically start on the pay band minimum.

Additional Information

CTC level National Security Clearance is required for this role. Central Government policy dictates that applicants for National Security Clearance must be a resident in the UK for these minimum periods:

  • CTC – 3 years
  • SC – 5 years
  • DV – 10 years

Working Arrangements & Further Information

For nationally advertised campaigns, candidates will be appointed to their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits,retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.


The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

Complaint Procedure

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

  • To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0345 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail;
  • To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (;
  • To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:

Grading Structure Review

The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.

Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.