Dorset Council was created in 2019, and we are working on an ambitious local plan which will set the future strategy for sustainable development in Dorset. We are one of the largest local planning authorities in the country, issuing over 5,000 planning decisions a year. This puts us 7th out of 339 local planning authorities in England, or in the top 2% nationally.

Dorset Council’s Planning Service is at the heart of place-shaping, and we want to make sure our legacy is a sustainable one for future generations to enjoy. We have a team of over 200 people across our range of services, and we strive to work as one team to deliver the best outcomes for our communities.

There are great opportunities to get involved in a wide variety of projects, and we always ensure that everyone feels valued and supported in developing their career.

Help shape the environment for future generations

By being part of the planning team you'll get to work in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with the opportunity to add quality developments into our landscapes. You will be part of a team that puts people first, whose supportive culture encourages everyone to thrive. You will also help shape the environment for visitors and residents of Dorset to enjoy.

What we are proud of

Monthly planning decisions


Neighbourhood plans


Renewable electricity generated in 2020


Tree preservation orders


New homes each year


Infrastructure contributions secured in 2021

£15 million

Rights of way

3,000 miles

Number of conservation areas


New jobs being planned


Building control market share


Breaches of planning investigated each month


Listed buildings


Why I work for planning

A woman and a man stand in a building site, wearing high-vis and hard hats, looking at some plans.

Dorset Council recognises the importance in investing in its employees...
A woman with short blonde hair smiling at the camera.

Site visits often give me “pinch myself” moments...
A woman with brown hair and glasses, wearing a graduation gown and cap.

Having the opportunity to study for an MSc in Spatial Planning at Oxford Brookes University was brilliant!

I feel grateful to have had such an excellent start to my career in planning.

Embracing technology and agile working

At Dorset Council we embrace technology and new ways of working to help you do your job efficiently and effectively. All planning and enforcement officers are offered the option of either a tablet or a mobile phone to allow you to check plans and take notes and photos on site visits. We actively encourage collaborative working and an agile approach to work, with opportunities to work either in the office or remotely depending on the activity.
Three men on a site visit. One has an umbrella, one is pointing. There are hills and a caravan in the background.

Training and development opportunities

A great range of learning and development opportunities for professional and personal development are available to officers in the planning teams. All employees have access to the Council’s interactive learning experience platform, The Learning Hub, providing video content, bitesize learning and eLearning modules that can be completed at a pace and time convenient to the person.

There is the opportunity to take part in regular in-house development sessions on subjects such as biodiversity, planning law and flood risk and officers are supported in attending RTPI regional continuing professional development events.

At a team level officers take the time to reflect and learn from developments that have been built out, visiting and critically reviewing them as a team to foster debate on issues such as layout and design.
Woman with a tablet looking at a part built house. There is a vehicle to the left of shot.

Roles available

Find out more about the roles available within Planning.