It is believed that around 40 jobs are under threat at Sheffield City Council as part of a restructure of the council’s planning & development department.
The jobs thought to be under threat include access officers, members of the urban design team, conservation officers, landscape architects, as well as others.
At the last full council meeting, Councillor Bob Johnson, cabinet member for development, was asked about the job losses and said he was in dispute about what was going to happen.
He said: “Unfortunately we are still in a collective dispute with the planning service following the restructure so it would be really difficult and probably ill-advised for me to comment publicly until such time as that dispute has been resolved.”
Among the jobs under threat are two part-time access officers. Disability Sheffield has launched a petition to save the roles.
Councillor Douglas Johnson, Green Party leader and City ward representative, said the role of the specialists was vital to making Sheffield an attractive, safe and accessible place for the public and said the proposals could weaken planning regulation.
Commenting on the proposed losses Jonathan Jenkin, Managing Director, Planning & Design said,
‘It is important to the smooth delivery of planning permission that the council has enough skilled and competent planning officers and those who support the planning team in specialist roles. Good conservation officers and urban designers can be very effective in helping to deliver development and it is important for us as consultants that we can meet and discuss development proposals with council officers at the pre-app stage as well as during the application process. One of our problems is the lack of specialist staff in most councils which limits pre-application advice which can lead to abortive planning applications and delays in getting planning permission. We do not want this situation to develop in Sheffield so we are concerned that the cuts will lead to the loss of skilled professionals, a reduction in the level of service available to the development industry and delays in the planning process.’
Planning & Design Practice Ltd is a multi-disciplinary team of Town Planners, Architects, Architectural Assistants and Design Professionals. We have extensive knowledge about the policies and procedures of individual councils and the approach taken by planning officers and Councillors.
Please contact Michael Bradford, Associate, if you require assistance with planning applications, appeals or local plan representations or require advice on lawful development certificates or development appraisals, email@example.com or telephone 0114 221 0618.