Job Opportunity: Ecological Land Cooperative

Permaculture Magazine
Friday, 1st March 2019

The Ecological Land Cooperative, who develop affordable, low impact smallholdings for ecological agriculture, have a job opportunity.

The Ecological Land Cooperative is looking for a part time Planning Manager - to be responsible for researching, writing and submitting planning applications for the Ecological Land Cooperative low impact smallholding clusters and campaigning for changes in planning policy to support low impact, sustainable rural development. Application deadline is 15th April.

All the details are here:

The Ecological Land Cooperative develops affordable, low impact, smallholdings for ecological agriculture.

The high costs of land and rural housing make it nearly impossible for new entrants to farming to establish a farm business. By providing affordable and secure smallholdings, they are helping to address this crisis.

They now have three sites. The first in Devon has several successful businesses on. The East Sussex site is just getting underway and the third site, in Wales has just been purchased.

The Job Role

The Planning Manager (Applications and Campaigns)
The Planning Manager is responsible for researching, writing and submitting planning applications for the ELC low impact smallholding clusters and campaigning for changes in planning policy to support low impact, sustainable rural development, and is supported by the Operations Manager.

2.5 days (18.75 hours) per week. The post is expected to be home based with the opportunity to work flexible hours and regular visits to Brighton to meet with colleagues. We also offer flexible working hours. This post is offered as two year temporary contract from the postholder's start date.

£ 27,027 per annum* pro rata. Annual salary for 2.5 days (18.75 hours) per week, £13,513 for two years.

* the ELC has a flat payment structure, with all workers paid at the same rate.

Job Description
The Planning Manager is responsible for:

  • Carrying out all the tasks necessary to research, write, submit and steward the planning applications for ELC residential smallholding sites through the planning application process until permission is granted. Duties include:
    • Undertaking preliminary planning appraisals of prospective sites for the development of linked smallholdings;
    • Preparation of requests for pre-application advice;
    • Undertaking community engagement;
    • Commissioning technical consultants;
    • Preparation, submission and determination of planning applications;
    • Progressing appeals (where necessary);
    • Coordination of the discharge of conditions and assisting with monitoring ELC’s compliance with conditions.
  • Documenting the steps necessary to complete the planning application process in the ELC Planning Handbook so that it may be replicated for future sites.
  • Ensuring that the planning resources on the ELC website are kept up to date.
  • Engaging with the professional planning community to ensure there is an understanding of the work of the ELC and the opportunity to influence planning policy at national, regional and local levels to encourage low impact and sustainable development.
  • Developing a series of guides to assessing low impact developments and ecological small-scale farming for planning professionals.
  • Working with ELC tenants to ensure that their building plans meet the requirements of ELC’s building policy and the local planning authority building regulations.
  • Delivering a programme of engagement with planning professionals to promote the work of the ELC and low impact development more generally.
  • Any other aspect of work to submit planning applications and influence planning policy considered reasonable.
  • Contributing to the work of the ELC as part of the staff team, including team meetings, strategic planning and away-days, and team-building or social events.
  • Representing the ELC at meetings, conferences and events where appropriate.
  • Preparing regular progress updates for the Operations Manager and ELC Board.
  • Supporting the work of planning volunteers as necessary.
  • Any other aspect of planning work considered reasonable.
For full info and how to apply visit our website:

Useful links

Wanted: land for ecological smallholdings

The off-grid medicinal farm - one of the ELC's smallholdings

Video: Creating affordable ecological, land-based livelihoods