Paige Stanley - Trainee Planner at East Staffordshire Borough Council
I’ve landed lucky. I love my job. I met my partner here. I’ve made my parents very proud.
I’m Paige and I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school after my A levels. I spotted a planning support job at the council and my mum encouraged me to apply. I found the work surprisingly interesting and was kept on as trainee validations officer. It was my job to check that the planning applications that came in were valid and contained all the information needed.
I’ve been promoted again; I’m now a Trainee Planner doing a degree apprenticeship so I’m doing my planning qualifications on the job. I’m going to university one day a week, studying towards my Masters in Urban and Town Planning. That will take 4 years and it’s a further year to become a Chartered Town Planner. There’s 10 of us on the course, we meet weekly; it was nerve wracking at first, but I’m now making friends with others who are all working for different councils. We’re doing modules on issues likes climate change, and what planners can do to help, such as providing electric charging points for cars, solar panels on new housing, heat source pumps; it’s really interesting.
My work is all learning on the job. Planning is very much about rules and procedures so I’m reading the legislation, asking a lot of questions and I have a great manager and colleagues who are taking the time to explain things to me. So far, I’ve become an ‘expert’ on Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and the legislation and procedures for them. People apply to make changes to trees that have TPOs. I ask our Tree Officer for comments, local neighbours too, and I go and see the tree for myself. I then make a recommendation as to whether to approve or refuse the application.
I’m learning about adverts too; for example, shops need to submit an advertisement consent application for signs on the premises advertising the business. After I’ve mastered adverts I’m going to be learning all about the planning permission process for householder applications.
I feel very supported by my manager, and council, to be able to start and develop my career here. It’s a great team and there are so many other benefits, such as being able to work flexible hours. I’m only 24 and I think I’ve found my career in planning.
Paige's career pathway:
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