82928 - MoJ Property Directorate – Planning Advisor

The national salary range is £66,314 - £75,810, London salary range is £70,303 - £80,370. Your salary will be dependent on your base location
12 Months
Please note: Some of our MoJ Office locations, such as our Liverpool Justice Collaboration Centre, require higher levels of National Security Vetting. The MoJ is working to open more Justice Collaboration Centres and Justice Satellite Offices over time. Click here to learn more about where our currently open Justice Collaboration Centres and Justice Satellite Offices are, to identify where you may be based and understand National Security Vetting requirements of each location.
Grade 6
Grade 6
Full Time
Estates, Planning, Property

Please note for this position a degree in Town Planning is required.


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). The MoJ Property Directorate brings together a property portfolio including Prisons, Probation, and MoJ HQ and Arm’s Length Bodies.  We also provide property services on behalf of the Home Office (HO).

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

Two roles are available. Both roles require practical town planning experience, it is envisaged that one of the roles will have an operational delivery / development management focus, with the other having more of a forward planning/policy focus. Successful candidates will be expected to advise confidently on both operational delivery /development management issues and forward planning / policy matters as required. Some flexibility might be possible in terms of how these two roles are defined but this will depend on the skills and experience of the successful applicants.     

The Town Planning Adviser 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 role 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 candidates to:

  • Provide 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;
  • Input into 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 DLUHC, local planning authorities (and other key stakeholders) to influence emerging policy 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;
  • 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.

 The successful candidate for the development management focussed role will have responsibility for c. 50 active projects. The second role will have more of a policy / forward planning focus but also involve some active management of live projects and the successful candidate will need to be confident in advising on both operational development management and policy matters and work flexibly as the need arises.  

The role requires effective prioritisation of work and balancing competing demands. The successful candidate will 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 either:
  1. managing and delivering large scale private and/or public sector infrastructure projects and securing planning solutions, and/or
  2. providing strategic planning policy advice, and advising on and delivering policy change to assist corporate policy and delivery objectives.
  • Experienced at building relationships particularly with Local Authorities and other public sector organisations.
  • Ability to operate confidently in a complex organisation and provide written and oral briefings

 Highly Desirable

  • Successful experience of delivering challenging programmes/policy solutions and change in a complex environment to demanding timescales.
  • Project management experience, particularly in construction
  • Awareness of Government Property Profession


  • A Degree in Town Planning
  • Qualified Town Planner (MRTPI and/or RICS) with at least 7 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:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-government-property-profession-career-framework--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:

  • Strategy and business planning - E
  • Property and professional practice - E
  • Analytical decision making - E
  • Customer and client focus - E
  • Stakeholder engagement - E

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
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions

  • A self-motivated individual confident in advising on complex projects/policy matters.
  • A problem solver with the ability to communicate professional planning knowledge to non-experts effectively
  • Ability to work collaboratively with multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Confidently engage with stakeholders and colleagues to gain commitment and build trust.

Flexible working hours

The Property Directorate offers flexible working subject to local agreement. This post is advertised as Permanent & Full Time.  The unit is supportive of and encourages flexible working and compressed hours candidates will also be considered.

The successful candidate will need to be available to be 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.

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: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

Non-civil service candidates would typically start on the pay band minimum.

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed 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.

MoJ candidates who are on a specialist grade, will be able to retain their grade on lateral transfer.

All candidates who are currently in receipt of Mark Time / Pay Protection should ensure they are familiar with the new policy on permanent and temporary promotion which can be found on the employee intranet.

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.


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.


  • 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 moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Working for the Civil Service

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

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

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: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

To be confirmed

23/01/2024, 23:55 hours.

For further information about the role, please contact helen.farrow@justice.gov.uk 

If you require any other assistance please call 0345 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com Please quote the job reference - 82928.

Counter-Terrorism Check (CTC)

To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why. 

For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:

  • You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
  • You were studying abroad
  • You were living overseas with parents

In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com) in the first instance

We have provided detail of the assessment stages and areas being assessed to help you prepare for completing your application form, and to advise of what will be assessed following this, if you successfully pass the application stage.

Application form stage assessments

Statement of Suitability - 1000 word limit

Interview stage assessments

There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
Seeing the Big Picture
Communicating and Influencing
Delivering at Pace
Making Effective Decisions
Technical Skills
Strategy and business planning - E
Property and professional practice - E
Analytical decision making - E
Customer and client focus - E
Stakeholder engagement - E
Strengths may also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.
Any candidate who has been assessed as being appointable to the role they applied for may be offered a similar, lower grade role, if one is available. Furthermore, any candidate who has just missed meeting the criteria for a particular role, may be appointed to a similar role at a lower grade if such a role is available, and if they have been assessed as meeting the criteria for the lower grade role. These appointments will also be made in merit order.

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

The "Making the Civil Service a Great Place to work for veterans" initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.
For further details about the initiative and eligibility requirements visit : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans

Redeployment Interview Scheme

Civil Service departments are expected to explore redeployment opportunities before making an individual redundant. The MoJ are committed, as part of the Redeployment Interview Scheme, to providing opportunities to those who are 'at risk of redundancy'.

MoJ are able to offer an interview to eligible candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns. Candidate's will not be eligible for the Redeployment Interview Scheme if they are applying on promotion.

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

· UK nationals

· nationals of the Republic of Ireland

· nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

· individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020

· Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

This Vacancy is closed to applications.