Current Vacancies

Associate Planner / Associate Director – Strategic Planning Research Unit

Who We Are

DLP Planning Ltd are seeking to recruit, an Associate Planner or Associate Director to the Company’s Strategic Planning Research Unit (SPRU). The position will be based at either of DLP’s Sheffield or Bedford Offices, but the flexibility of virtual working will allow the candidate to work nationally, providing advice and guidance to all DLP offices and clients across the country.

DLP Planning Ltd is part of the DLP Consulting Group, and was formed in 1991 as an independent planning and development consultancy and became an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) in 2022. Having grown consistently over the years, the Group now comprises of Town Planning, Architecture, Master Planning, Ecology, Landscape and Urban Design, and Transportation and Infrastructure Design teams, serving a wide variety of clients and operating from offices at Bedford, Bristol, Nottingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Rugby and Sheffield.

SPRU’s work is based on providing demographic and socio-economic research to support planning applications, the promotion of land for development and preparation of planning policy as part of work across the private and public sectors. The team is adaptive and capable of responding quickly to different project aims and changing policy requirements. SPRU make recognised contributions to key strategic debates within the planning sector. These include encouraging cooperation beyond local authority boundaries, managing the release of land from the Green Belt for development and seeking to increase housing delivery and meet a greater proportion of housing need. We have recently published ground-breaking research on the housing needs of older people supporting an increase in the delivery of specialist housing and actively contributing to Research & Development in this sector.

If these topics reflect your interests and experience this role may be suitable for you.

The Strategic Planning Research Unit, is a specialist team within DLP Planning and provides public and private sector clients with support and assistance in the following areas:

  • Housing needs and land availability assessments, including the preparation and critique of household and population projections
  • 5-year housing land supply assessments, including expert witness planning appeal support
  • Specialist housing need assessments and surveys: older persons’ housing and care beds, local affordable housing, student housing, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
  • Employment needs and land availability assessments
  • Economic impact and benefits assessments
  • Health impact assessments
  • Strategic site searches and site promotion
  • Infrastructure delivery plans
  • Sustainability appraisals
  • Green Belt reviews
  • Retail needs and impact assessments
  • Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan preparation and support

Our recent work has concentrated on the production of evidence on five year housing land supply assessments, establishing housing need, interrogating the need and supply for employment land and illustrating the economic impact of development proposals. Through our expertise we advise on site identification and promotion strategies and work with leading Counsel to achieve project aims. We regularly contribute to, attend and influence Local Plan Examination and Planning Inquiries in relation to these matters, as well as undertaking bespoke research commissions.

Role Description and Who You Are

This post is permanent and will commence immediately. This post would suit a planner or economist with an interest and talent for strategic planning or socio-economic research wishing to further their career by working on a diverse range of projects across the UK.

Candidates are expected to have at least 3-5 years’ relevant experience. Professional accreditation is essential, and while Chartered Membership of the RTPI is highly desirable candidates with other professional accreditations in related disciplines such as housing, economics or viability would be welcomed.

The successful candidate’s previous experience may be from the public or private sector and a mixture of both is desirable but not essential. The post requires good commercial awareness to continue to support the strong revenue generation within the team. Previous evidence of business development, public sector tendering or contributions to winning and retaining clients is desirable. Candidates with client-side knowledge gained within the development sector and experience of site identification and site promotion would also be welcomed.

Your contribution to the continued growth of the team should complement our existing skills and expand our ability to meet client needs. You may be able to lead on enabling us to further extend SPRU’s scope of services if you have existing specialisms such as development viability or needs assessments for different land uses.

The successful candidate will be client focussed with an ability to define and deliver planning and development projects to time and to cost. The candidate will be highly numerate and be able to write and oversee the preparation and presentation of reports/evidence in a clear, concise and logical manner. The candidate will be IT literate with good skills in word processing, spreadsheets, database management, and desk-based research.

The successful candidate should be able to work flexibly on a wide range of projects. You will be required to act regularly on behalf of developers, promoters, local planning authorities, town and parish councils, and other organisations, and so should be confident in representing DLP in external settings and in presenting findings to clients. The candidate will be given the opportunity to develop the skills of presenting in more formal settings such as examinations and appeals.

The post will report to senior members of the SPRU team but the ability to work independently as well as taking clear instructions will be an essential attribute for this role. Experience of working with multidisciplinary project teams, engaging with stakeholders and coordinating input from Counsel at Appeals and Examinations is desirable but not essential.

The successful candidate should be able to manage competing demands on their time and to prioritise tasks accordingly. The post holder will work closely with other members of the SPRU team on a range of strategic specialist projects, as well as overseeing and mentoring junior colleagues.

A full driving license is desirable.

Salary & Benefits

DLP offers a friendly working environment and excellent opportunities to develop and grow your skills and career through involvement in a wide variety of projects. As well as a competitive salary,

we also provide a pension scheme, bonus scheme, private health insurance, life insurance, contributions towards professional subscriptions, Cycle to Work scheme, and an annual volunteering allowance.

DLP is owned by an Employee Ownership Trust, which means that eligible staff may qualify for income tax-free bonuses.

DLP currently operates a hybrid working arrangement whereby staff are required to be in their designated office for ‘core days’ (currently two days a week). For the remainder of the week staff have the flexibility to either work from home or from the office, depending on project / company needs.

Should you wish to discuss the role, please contact the Director, Jon Goodall (07930 067715). To apply, please email your CV and covering letter, detailing your suitability for this role to the Practice Manager, Fay Wagstaff at

The closing date for applications is 31st July 2024

Associate Director

Due to continuing growth, DLP Planning Limited are seeking a full-time qualified and experienced Town Planner to play a key role in our friendly and busy planning team in Bedford.

Our Bedford office includes both our planning team, members of the CASS team (providing architectural, masterplanning, landscape, conservation, ecology and sustainability engineering expertise) allowing collaborative working on design matters and is also the Head Office of the Group.

Whilst this hybrid role is based in our Bedford office, the Company operates as a ‘single team’ and staff can work on projects across the country.

Role and Responsibilities 

As an Associate Director you will work semi-autonomously, under the supervision of Directors. You will lead on projects and engage in a range of development plan / policy and development management work. This will include, but is not limited to, managing planning applications of all scales, local plan representations, site promotion, appeals, EiP and public inquiry work.

With excellent stakeholder management skills, you will also be offered a high degree of client interface and as part of your personal development will be expected to attend networking events in order to grow our client base and promote the company.

You should be self-motivated and a committed team player who is excited by the prospect of developing their own client base and making a real contribution to the growth of the business.

You will receive regular mentoring sessions to aid with your progressing within the business and will also participate in the supervision and mentoring of junior members of the planning team.


We are looking for a qualified Town Planner ideally with at least 8 – 10 years professional experience in the UK preferably in the private sector or a mixture of public sector and client-side roles.

Candidates should be educated to undergraduate level (2:1 or above) and have obtained a postgraduate qualification in Planning.  They should also be a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Salary and Benefits

Remuneration will be commensurate with the abilities and potential of the successful candidate and will include a competitive salary, performance linked bonus scheme, access to the Company Pension Scheme, health insurance and other fringe benefits including supporting staff undertaking local volunteer work.

We are committed to offering flexible working arrangements.

DLP Planning Limited operates as an Employee Owned Trust (EOT).   The culture, welfare, support and development of our staff is of great importance, and it is key that candidates are closely aligned with those values.

All eligible staff members become part ‘owners’ of the business which brings the added benefit of an element of bonuses being tax free and a future potential payment based on their part ownership of the Company.

Summary of essential and desirable requirements for the role:


  • Postgraduate qualification in Planning or related discipline
  • Fully Chartered Member of RTPI
  • Minimum 8-10 years professional experience in UK planning roles
  • Full UK driving licence
  • Experience of managing planning applications and appeals at a range of scales
  • Some experience of working in private sector, either in consultancy or client-side
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Excellent written communication skills and capable of drafting professional reports (e.g. Planning Statements, Appeal Statements etc) to a high standard
  • Comfortable and committed to attending networking events


  • Experience of business development
  • Some experience of work generation
  • Experience of appearing at hearing/public inquiry
  • Experience of mentoring junior staff
  • Portfolio of existing client contacts in south midlands/east of England region
  • Experience of preparing fee proposals/tender submissions
  • Some experience of billing and managing project budgets

About DLP Planning Ltd

DLP Planning was formed in 1991 and became an Employee-Owned Trust in 2022.  It is one of the largest independent town planning consultancies in the country and, alongside London as the capital office, there are offices in Bedford, Bristol, Nottingham, Rugby, Milton Keynes, Liverpool Leeds and Sheffield.

DLP Planning Ltd is a subsidiary of DLP Consulting Group and offers clients a multi-disciplinary service as required and/or specialist advice geared to specific disciplines.

The governance structure is such that the Managing Director is supported by the Board of Directors who run the Company but with the added governance of being overseen by the Board of Trustees who include representatives of the senior management, the former shareholders, an Independent Trustee and the staff. All qualifying members of staff are part owners in the business and participate in promoting the objective to help it continue to grow sustainably in the long term.

DLP is an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Contact us

Should you wish to discuss the role, please contact the Director, Andy Parry (07824 056765). To apply, please email your CV and covering letter, detailing your suitability for this role to the Practice Manager, Fay Wagstaff at

The closing date for applications is 30th June 2024

John HelyarBedford