London Boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Wandsworth
If you answered yes, we want to hear from you.
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for a new permanent Principal Development Viability Officer (Wandsworth). You will lead on viability matters relating to development coming forward in Wandsworth Borough, maximising opportunities for affordable housing delivery, particularly social rent, through the realm of planning. The Council has big ambitions to deliver genuinely affordable housing for local residents and there has never been a more challenging – or rewarding – time to work for Wandsworth.
About the role
The Principal Development Viability Officer (Wandsworth) will independently manage key planning and viability aspects related to decision making on planning applications in the borough, with specific focus on affordable housing. The main responsibilities include critically reviewing inputs and outputs of Financial Viability Appraisals at pre-application stage and as part of planning applications, negotiating and challenging applicants and viability consultants on the factors and outputs that determine the viability of schemes, scrutinising the outputs from the Council’s external viability consultants, and securing financial contributions. You will ensure that the Planning Service is well equipped in assessing, and where necessary, challenging the viability assumptions of developments coming forward and liaising with the Housing and Resources team on grant eligibility.
You will lead on all aspects related to financial viability of developments in Wandsworth, working under minimal supervision and taking personal responsibility for your work and projects, with a key focus of scrutinising planning applications to maximise social rent delivery outcomes.
You will also be responsible for ensuring there are up-to-date guidance and processes in place in relation to the requirements for Financial Viability Appraisals in Wandsworth, ensuring that the right information is submitted at the outset as part of a planning application.
You will deal directly with the applicants including their viability consultants, the Council’s external viability consultants as well as officers in the Planning and Housing department; you will also act as the key link between those parties.
There will also be opportunities to feed into other planning work, such as providing viability inputs and guidance for the Local Plan and other emerging planning guidance, such as Masterplans.
You will also have the opportunity to coach and facilitate the acquisition of skills and knowledge in others, and this includes providing training and building in-house capacity within the Planning service on affordable housing, delivery and viability matters.
You will need to bring an excellent understanding of national, regional and local policy, guidance and legislation in relation to development viability. You will take a proactive approach to relevant changes in these, recommending revised procedures and practices and managing the implementation of those revisions, with a particular focus on affordable housing and viability matters.
While the role is based within the Shared Staffing Arrangement, it is primarily focused on Wandsworth work.
We welcome applications from surveyors who have knowledge and background in viability and/or planning respectively, including from the public and/or private sector.
Who are we
Wandsworth is a thriving Inner London Borough on the southern banks of the River Thames that is steeped in a diverse history. The borough features landmarks such as the iconic Battersea Power Station, Ram Brewery and Clapham Junction Station, and is acknowledged for its famous green spaces such as Wandsworth and Clapham Commons, Putney Heath and the Grade II listed Battersea Park.
We are positive and ambitious – When you join us, you’ll apply the same approach.
If you would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail, please contact Andrea Kitzberger-Smith, Spatial Planning and Design Team Manager on or email .
How to apply?
Please register and submit your CV and a supporting statement, addressing how you meet the requirements of this role. If you are having difficulty in applying online, please contact the Recruitment Team at .
We care more about how you work and what you achieve, rather than where you work on any given day. The difference you can make to our local communities is what really matters most to us, service delivery must always come first. We have carefully considered agile ways of working to provide the best experience for residents, stakeholders, and our staff. Our agile working strategy actively supports and encourages a dynamic work environment and daily working experience. Agile working helps put the needs of our staff at the centre of everything we do, so if specific flexible working arrangements helps you with this, feel free to let us know.
Your wellbeing and the flexible way in which you can work is and will remain a key priority for Richmond and Wandsworth Councils. We want you to thrive and feel empowered in your work!
We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working including working from home, job shares and other arrangements. Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you would like to explore. We also offer a generous holiday allowance of 39 paid days (pro rata) including bank holidays and a wide range of learning and development opportunities.
In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of staff benefits such as payment of professional fees (e.g. for RICS chartered membership), membership of the Local Government pension scheme, childcare vouchers, new technology scheme, interest-free loans on annual travel cards, discounts with many leisure activities, restaurants, shops and other establishments.
Indicative Recruitment Timeline
Closing Date: 25 June 2023
Shortlisting Date: 28 June 2023
Interview Date(s): 4 July 2023
The closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. We strongly advise you to complete your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to making our recruitment practices as inclusive as possible for everyone. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a culture that values differences, recognising that employees from a variety of backgrounds bring important and positive contributions to the Councils and can improve the way we deliver services.
The application process for this campaign will be anonymised.
We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer.
Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people/vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.