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Principal Lawyer(Planning/Highways)

About the role

Are you ready to take the next step in your career in an organisation where you will be supported to excel professionally? If so, join the Legal Team at West Northamptonshire Council, one of the newest and the fourth largest Unitary Councils in England. We are continuing with the growth of the legal team with the role of Principal Planning & Highways Lawyer within the Place Legal team.

No two days in the Planning & Highways Team are the same at West Northamptonshire Council. We handle a large and diverse range of planning and highways work, including Sustainable Urban Extensions (commercial and residential), major developments, Footpath Diversion Orders, and complex Highways Agreements. We provide support to planning committees, public inquiries, Members, planning officers, and senior management as needed. There will also be an opportunity to mentor and support other members of the Planning & Highways Team.

What will you be doing?

As Principal Planning & Highways Lawyer you will sit within our Place legal team, supporting the Head of Legal (Place) in the management of the team and working collaboratively with our Officers and elected Members in the work they undertake.

You will be our technical specialist with duties including:

  • Managing a full caseload of Planning & Highways matters such as providing advice on planning applications and procedures, attending planning committees as legal advisor, providing advice on highways applications and procedures, providing advice on planning performance agreements and providing legal support on major developments and legal agreements such as s106 agreements, s38/s278 highways agreements
  • Advising the Council on a wide range of Planning & Highways matters, delivering training where necessary
  • Advising on policy, strategy and procedure relating to Planning & Highways issues
  • Advising on pre-action and Judicial Review/S288 matters related to Planning Law
  • Advising on and attending Public Inquiries
  • Supervising and delivering training to a dedicated legal team and to Officers in the Place Directorate

For more information please contact Katherine Hall, Head of Legal (Place) on 07826 511563 for a confidential discussion.

About you

If you have a significant level of technical knowledge and experience in Planning and Highways Law, leadership experience, and are motivated and ambitious with a willingness to learn and develop further, we want to hear from you. If you are looking to develop your local government experience, change sectors into local government, or return to work after a career break, you won’t find a better, more supportive, and encouraging place to do so.

While local government experience is not essential, a passion for delivering an excellent legal service in a fast-paced environment and a desire to help shape and deliver an exemplar local authority legal service is crucial. We offer mentoring, buddying, coaching, training, and many other opportunities to assist and develop you, ensuring your success in the role and your ongoing progression within the Council.

Our benefits

West Northamptonshire is a great place to work with a number of benefits including:

  • a staff social board
  • Staff Networks
  • a Lifestyle Benefits Scheme where you can access a range of local and national benefits
  • Flexible working
  • Holiday Purchase Scheme with an option to purchase additional leave
  • Local Government Pension Scheme plus immediate life cover (3 times your annual salary from day one) and ill-health protection
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Car Lease scheme
  • payment of professional subscription/membership – if your job description requires that you are registered with or are a member of a professional body
  •  ongoing training and development opportunities
  • Employee Assistance Programme – we have an employee support programme run by Health Assured, an independent, external organisation.  Health Assured is available for you and your immediate family members, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and includes telephone counselling, legal advice, bereavement support and medical information
  • A variety of flexible working options to support your work/life balance (subject to business needs)
  • Our West Ways of Working – we want our workforce to thrive and we equip our employees with the right technology to support hybrid and collaborative working, on or off site, depending on the role
  • Making a difference – if you want to use your skills and experience with an organisation that are genuinely invested in making a difference, are committed to improving people’s lives, and whose success has a direct impact on the wellbeing of your family, friends and people in your local area, then West Northamptonshire Council is the place for you.

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