A town planner manages the development of cities, towns and countryside.
The Role
  • A town planner (also known as a planning officer or planning consultant) manages the development of cities, towns and countryside.
  • Assisting with the development of planning policy at a national, regional or local level including strategies which take account of transport, the local economy, jobs, green infrastructure, renewable energy, climate change and the historic environment
  • Reviewing and monitoring existing planning policy documents
  • Assisting with the preparation and implementation of transport policies, strategies and plans at national, regional or local level to create an efficient transport network
  • This could include cycle routes, rail and road routes and new airports or runways
  • Helping to ensure that areas are attractive, safe and pleasant to live, work in and visit and designing out features which create unattractive or unsafe areas
  • Helping to energise places that have become run-down while conserving historic buildings and making the most of the landscape
  • Helping to balance the needs of a growing population for more homes and more travel with the environmental impact and how we manage/ reduce waste
  • Helping to draft and review planning applications
  • Conducting appropriate research to inform planning applications
  • Assisting with consultations and negotiations with consultants and developers
  • Helping to enforce planning controls for developments
  • Helping to prepare policy or guidance documents on how to manage historic environments
  • Helping to advise on the refurbishment or re-use of listed buildings
  • Assisting with the provision of services to clients and contributing to projects
  • Producing planning submissions, appeals, design and access statements and other documents
  • Managing a client portfolio
  • Developing business relationships
  • Running public consultations
  • Town planners often become chartered members of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
  • Newly trained Planners can earn in the region of £20,000 - £35,000
  • Trained with experience Town Planners can earn in the region of £35,000 - £40,000
Principal Planners can earn more and have increased career options Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.
Qualifications & Training
To become an assistant or graduate planner you may need a degree. There are various undergraduate degrees in planning that are accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). A full-time degree course takes four years, which includes a three-year BA degree and a one-year postgraduate diploma. Longer part-time courses are also available. Senior planners start their career as an assistant/graduate planner and can become a senior planner after 2-3 years of experience. Progression may be quicker after becoming chartered with the RTPI.