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Head of Design Unit

Greater London Authority
London (Central), London (Greater)
£75,750 per annum
Closing date
18 Feb 2024

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Local and National Government
Contract Type
Full Time
HR Jobs Level
Director / Head / VP
Specialist Area
CIPD Membership
CIPD Member, Non CIPD member

Head of Design Unit

Job reference number: 044942

Contract type: Permanent

Salary: £75,750 per annum

Grade: 12

Closing date: Sunday 18 February 2024 at 23:59.

Interview date: Early March 2024.

About the role:

Looking for a meaningful role where you can work collaboratively to embed good design and address a range of challenges affecting London?

Come and play your part in shaping the future of London by leading the brilliant team of professionals in the newly established Design Unit within GLA Planning and Regeneration. You will lead this new team to drive excellence in design across, and beyond, the GLA Group, as part of the remit to support the development and delivery of the London Plan and embed good growth across London.

In this role you would lead on delivering design advice with respect to the use of the Mayoral planning powers, through policy and development management, to promote quality, sustainability, and inclusion in the built environment. You will ensure quality and inclusion where the Mayor is investing in the built environment and will also be a key advocate for quality and inclusion with public sector commissioners more broadly.

You will manage a team of specialists who lead on implementing the London Plan policies through considering referred planning applications and promoting the use of Design Reviews. You will lead the Mayor’s Good Growth by Design programme to enhance the design of the built environment and will optimise the use of the Mayor’s convening power to promote quality and inclusion through stakeholder and partnership development and advocacy with the sector.

Principal accountabilities

  • Establish and lead the work of the Design Unit - driving the delivery of excellence in design working across the GLA family and with boroughs, stakeholders, and the industry.
  • To oversee the overall work programme, the staffing, financial and other resources of the team and to ensure the most effective use of these resources consistent with GLA policy, priorities, and decisions on levels of service to be provided, and relevant legislation; and in particular to:
  1. Prioritise, programme, allocate and monitor the progress of, work and ensure performance targets are met.
  2. Establish service level expectations/agreements with key teams and manage delivery against these, achieving satisfactory quality and efficiency.
  3. Oversee budgets and leverage and manage appropriate sources of funding.
  4. Undertake recruitment, training needs assessment, training having due regard to the need to provide for career development and equal opportunities.
  5. Ensure that all staff management and performance processes are carried out efficiently.
  6. Ensure that there is a clearly understood scheme of delegation and lead responsibilities in the team.
  7. Supervise and support the work and performance of the team.
  • Promote and lead continuous service improvement, research, and innovation. Steer the development of the GLA family’s approach to excellence in design and the continuing evolution of the Design Unit and its programme of work.
  • Collaborate closely with the Head of Regeneration and Growth Strategies and oversee the development of research, strategies, programmes, and policies to promote world class architecture, sustainability, viability and inclusive design in London’s buildings, public spaces and urban fabric in line with Mayoral priorities. Manage a variety of methods including design review, the operation of the A+ U Framework, deployment of Mayoral Design Advocates and the wider Good Growth by Design programme.
  • Collaborate closely with the Head of London Plan & Strategic Planning in supporting key aspects of the Mayor’s Good Growth principles, the London Plan, associated strategic documents, and guidance documents. Collaborate closely with the Head of Development Management and Viability in providing a high standard of advice and support for the team, and to have an understanding / experience of planning processes and requirements and ability to ensure robust evidence into inquiries.
  • To provide effective advice at senior levels within the GLA and to external organisations.
  • Work as part of the wider leadership team within Planning & Regeneration, helping lead the Unit.
  • Represent GLA and the Mayor at a senior level internally and externally, including with the Assembly, boroughs, central Government, the sector and ensure the delivery of high quality and timely materials and responses to relevant press inquiries.
  • Ensure effective leadership of the team and a positive inclusive culture, including staff and resource management; participation in multi-disciplinary, cross-department and cross-organisational groups and project teams; support for development and career progression in accordance with the GLA’s policies and code of ethic and standards, including health and safety.
  • Realise the benefits of London’s diversity by promoting and enabling equality of opportunities and promoting the diverse needs and aspirations of London’s communities.

If you have a question about the role or would like to discuss it further, there will be a "learn about the role" session taking place on Friday 9 February at 4.00pm. This will be a virtual session hosted on Microsoft Teams. Please note that this session will be recorded and your name will appear as an attendee.

Details of this session can be found below, please click 'join on the web' and input the meeting details as stated:

Meeting ID: 336 856 730 748
Passcode: owKUyv
Download Teams | Join on the web

Please note all applications for this vacancy must be submitted via our online recruitment system. We do not accept CVs alone for this role. Please upload a supporting statement with a maximum of 1500 words to the ‘Additional Documents’ section of the form, ensuring you address the following technical requirements and competencies in your supporting statement. Word or PDF format preferred and do not include any photographs or images. Please ensure your CV and supporting statement documents are saved with the job reference number as part of the naming convention (E.g., “CV – applicant name - 012345).

The GLA Competency Framework Guidelines further detailing each competency and the different level indicators can be found here: GLA competency framework.

This role is based at London Fire Brigade’s Head Office (Union Street SE1 0LL).

GLA staff are hybrid working up to 3 days a week in our offices and remotely depending on their role. As part of this, you will need to split your time between home working and coming into the office.

London's diversity is its biggest asset, and we strive to ensure our workforce reflects London's diversity at all levels. We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith, or disability.

We particularly encourage applications from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic candidates and disabled candidates who are currently underrepresented in our workforce.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer and we are happy to consider flexible working arrangements. We would welcome applications from candidates who are seeking part time work as this role is open to job share.

In addition to a good salary package, we offer an attractive range of benefits including 30 days’ annual leave, interest free season ticket loan, interest free bicycle loan and a career average pension scheme.

Application closing date: Sunday 18 February 2024 at 23:59.

We will make every effort to give you as much notice as possible, however some interviews/assessments could be organised at short notice.


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