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Planning Manager (Applications and Campaigns)

Ecological Land Coop
Home based with occasional travel to our Brighton office and elsewhere as required

Posted: 05/03/2019

Deadline: 15/04/2019

Compensation: £27,027 pro rata for 2.5 days per week - two year contract

Paid Part-time Flexible hours Fixed term / contract Remote working


Job description

The Ecological Land Cooperative (ELC) is a social enterprise based in Brighton, East Sussex. We exist to create affordable access to land for new entrants to ecological agriculture and mixed farming. Following the successful delivery of our first site, a cluster of three ecological smallholdings at Greenham Reach in Mid Devon, we are currently developing 3 new smallholdings in East Sussex and have purchased new land for smallholding sites in the Gower and Somerset. We have an ambitious plan to deliver around 20 smallholdings over the next 3-4 years.

We believe that ecological land-based livelihoods can help solve some of the most pressing environmental and social problems of our time, and seek to marry ecological principles with sound business practice to help more people live and work on the land. This type of small-scale ecological production delivers a number of benefits including protecting the environment, building vibrant rural communities, providing employment and training, and supporting healthy diets through affordable, locally grown produce.

Beyond this, our vision is one where land is valued and used as a means to enhance our collective good. At present, land in the UK is the target of financial speculation; in contrast, our model champions a collective, ecological and cooperative vision of land ownership and land use.

We are looking for a Planning Manager (Applications and Campaigns) to join our small and hardworking team.

The Planning Manager (Applications and Campaigns) will be responsible for coordinating all the work involved in making planning applications to the local authority for permission to site rural workers' dwellings and farm buildings on the Ecological Land Cooperative's smallholding sites. The ELC has considerable experience of making sucessful planning applications gained over the last 8 years. We initially ask for a 5 year temporary permission for our smallholdings in order to give the new farm businesses time to prove their financial viability and functional need. Once this has been achieved we ask for the permission to be made permanent. We will soon have permanent permission (subject to legal documentation) for our small farms in Mid Devon as well as a new temporary permission for our site in Wealden, East Sussex. We currently have two new sites in progress and will be purchasing at least one new piece of land this year, making a total of five sites.

It has not been easy to achieve this success in a context where farms are growing bigger rather than smaller and there is little knowledge of ecological food growing and low impact living within the planning community. We have seen a positive change in the way our planning applications are being viewed by planners, with acknowledgement that there need to be better opportunities for new entrants to farming to gain access to affordable land and a recognition of the benefits of locally produced, healthy food food for communities, but there is still a lot more to do to increase understanding.

The ELC has been successful in securing funding to produce a series of guides for people at different points in the planning application process, to enable them to understand low impact and agroecological planning applications both in planning and sustainability terms. This new role will be responsible for writing and producing these guides in conjunction with experts in the field; and then running a series of workshops with planners at a regional level to promote the guides.

We are looking for someone with an an interest in sustainable food growing and/or low impact development and experience of the planning regime in England and/or Wales. Key attributes are an eye for detail and a desire to see a piece of work through to conclusion, however hard that might be! The new staff member will also play a role in managing the organisation along with the rest of the team. Visit our website to find out more and apply for this job. https://ecologicalland.coop/planning-manager

Application information

Please visit our website to find out more about the Ecological Land Cooperative and this role. To apply, please send a copy of your most up to date CV, details for two referees and a covering letter detailing why you are a good candidate, including information on how you meet each point of the person specification to sonia@ecologicalland.coop by midnight on Monday 15th April 2019. We will be looking at applications as soon as they arrive so do please send them in early if you can.

We don't want to limit your creativity but if you could keep your letter down to two pages of A4 that would help us when shortlisting.

This post is only open to people who have a right to work in the UK. Proof of this will be required.

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About Ecological Land Coop

The Ecological Land Cooperative (ELC) is a social enterprise based in Brighton, East Sussex. We exist to create affordable access to land for new entrants to ecological agriculture and mixed farming. Following the successful delivery of our first site, a cluster of three ecological smallholdings at Greenham Reach in Mid Devon, we are developing a site in East Sussex and purchasing new land in Wales. We have an ambitious plan to deliver around 20 smallholdings over the next 4 years. We believe that ecological land-based livelihoods can help solve some of the most pressing environmental and social problems of our time, and seek to marry ecological principles with sound business practice to help more people live and work on the land. This type of small-scale ecological production delivers a number of benefits including protecting the environment, building vibrant rural communities, providing employment and training, and supporting healthy diets through affordable, locally grown produce. Beyond this, our vision is one where land is valued and used as a means to enhance our collective good. At present, land in the UK is the target of financial speculation; in contrast, our model champions a collective, ecological and cooperative vision of land ownership and land use.