Principal planners take a lead role in protecting and shaping our cities, towns and countryside.
The Role
  • Developing planning policy that takes account of transport, the local economy, jobs, environmental factors and the historic environment
  • Ensuring that areas are safe and pleasant places to live, work and visit
  • Producing planning submissions, appeals, design and access statements
  • Planning statements
  • Managing client portfolios
  • Developing business relationships
  • Running public consultations
  • They are usually based in an office but are often out and about on site visits and can work for national, regional or local government organisations.
  • At this level some work as independent planning consultants, giving advice to businesses and individuals.
  • Salaries typically range from £30,000 to £55,000
Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility, and salaries and career options can improve with chartered status.
Qualifications & Training
To be a planning manager or principal planner you need several years of relevant experience in a planning environment. You also need to have developed your management skills and be able to think strategically. To progress to this level you need experience in day-to-day management of a team, activity, project or small department – as well as running a budget. You must show experience in a range of projects as well as in building and maintaining partnerships with lots of stakeholders. If you’re working in the private sector you should have good client and business development skills.