Decision details

Advertisement of post of Project Director Liveable Exeter which is changed to Director Planning and Development

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


That the post of Project Director Liveable Exeter be changed to Director Planning and Development and the post be advertised immediately.


That the post of Project Director Liveable Exeter be changed to Director Planning and Development and the post be advertised immediately.

Reasons for the decision:

1.    The Liveable Exeter Programme & Vision now has to be built into the development plan and will face examination under the local plan process. It is imperative for the credibility of the strategy that it is led and owned by the strategic management board and becomes main stream with the department and service. The regeneration programme requires many aspects of the city council to be aligned with the planning and development processes in order to realise the vision. On an interim basis the Project Director was asked to lead the city development service to begin this process. For this he was paid an honorarium.

2.    The post holder for Project Director Liveable Exeter resigned to take up the position of Director of Place at Mid-Devon. The salary difference between the Project Director and Director was modest. However, from a career perspective the director post has a broader level of responsibilities and is more attractive.

3.    Instead of recruiting like for like ie Project Director, this decision will result in recruiting onto the SMB and ensure the Chief Planner has a seat at the SMB, this will signal the importance of the Liveable Exeter strategy to the success of the Planning Service and formal development plan. The leadership skills required to lead a city wide regeneration programme warrant a director level appointment.

4.    This is not an additional post, it formalises something that was begun with the last post holder as the demands in progressing the programme became better understood.

5.    The Planning function is core to the work with Liveable Exeter and it requires a level of alignment between the development management and plan making functions and the overall programme. This is a constant challenge and needs hands on attention of a level that will inevitably have to step up as more sites come under scrutiny and attention.

6.    Having a director level appointment to cover the planning & development work will release capacity for the Chief Executive to commit to the Net Zero agenda in support of the Exeter 2030 Net Zero plan.

7.    In a competitive environment attracting the right calibre of applicant to lead the Liveable Exeter regeneration programme when there is no guaranteed long term funding or staffing support structure in place could be challenging; a director level appointment for an established service will make the task of recruiting easier.

8.    Funding is in place for this post through a mixture of established earmarked reserves and capacity funding through the Garden Communities Programme.


Alternative options considered:

Recruiting like for like, Project Director for Liveable Exeter.

Publication date: 15/11/2021

Date of decision: 09/11/2021

Accompanying Documents: