ELC Job: Planning Manager

We are looking for a new member of staff 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.

The Planning Manager (Applications and Campaigns)

The Planning Manager is responsible for researching, writing and submitting planning applications for the ELC's low impact smallholding clusters and campaigning for changes in planning policy to support low impact, sustainable rural development, and is supported by the Operations Manager.


2.5 days (18.75 hours) per week. The post is expected to be home based with the opportunity to work flexible hours and regular visits to Brighton to meet with colleagues. This post is offered as a two year temporary contract from the postholder's start date.


£ 27,027 per annum* pro rata. Annual salary for 2.5 days (18.75 hours) per week, £13,513 for two years.

* the ELC has a flat payment structure, with all workers paid at the same rate.

See our web page here for the full person specification and how to apply by deadline of April 15th 2019