- Assist with all aspects of town planning and planning applications for developments
- You'll need CAD and technical drawing skills along with excellent administration and communication skills
- With further study and training you could qualify as a town planner
As a town planning assistant your work will focus on how buildings and developments are created and approved in towns, villages, and cities. You could work for the government or local authorities, in the private sector for real estate companies, house builders, supermarkets or utility companies, or for environmental or conservation bodies.
You might also work in planning enforcement, which will involve helping individuals and businesses to meet the conditions set out in their application decisions (the things they have to do to make sure their building or development is approved), gathering information to use as evidence in planning disputes, and presenting reports on legislation to planning committees, magistrates and judges.
Depending on which kind of organisation you work for your role could include:
- Preparing reports for internal and external publications
- Recording minutes at meetings
- Building and managing technical libraries
- Filing systems and databases
- Drawing up plans using computer aided design software
- Carrying out data surveys, like traffic impact assessments
- Supplying information and data to planners for applications
- Recording the progress and outcomes of planning applications
- Organising public meetings
- Answering enquiries about application procedures
You'll mainly be office-based, with you might also visit sites and attend meetings and conferences.
There are no set entry requirements, but A levels or equivalent in subjects like geography, graphic design, business studies, English, environmental studies or economics could be useful. You'll also need technical drawing and computer aided design (CAD) skills, the ability to understand and interpret data, and the ability to read technical diagrams and maps.
You could get into this job through a town planning technical support advanced apprenticeship. You could also do a degree accredited by The Royal Town Planning Institute before applying for a job as an assistant, such as planning, environment and development; city and regional planning; or urban planning and property development.
You can take a college course to learn skills needed for this job, such as a Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment, Level 3 Diploma in Civil Engineering for Technicians, or a T level in Design, Surveying and Planning.
Experience in customer service, administration, construction or surveying could also be helpful.
With experience, you could progress to team leader or move up to technician level. With further study, you could become a fully qualified town planner. You could also set up your own business and offer consultancy in areas like planning law and sustainable design.