Planning Technical Support Officer

Paulina Zemke


Apprentice of

the year award


Learner of the

year awards


mum, wife, full time

employee and apprentice

After finishing a Business Support apprenticeship I discovered a passion for Planning Enforcement.

Paulina's daughter in front of her offices

Where do you work?

I have been employed at London Borough of Wandsworth since 2017. My role as Planning Technical Support Officer enables me to interact on daily basis and work closely with senior planners and different departments within the Council. For example, the Environmental Health Team, Building Control, Private Housing, CIL and S106 teams.

Paulina has won multiple awards

Route into planning

Tell us about your route into planning

After finishing a Business Support Apprenticeship within the Wandsworth Planning Department, I discovered a passion for Planning Enforcement. I’ve enrolled for a Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship and undertook work shadowing with a senior enforcement planner to gain practical knowledge in how enforcement officers’ work. I have also gained student membership of the RTPI through this apprenticeship, which allows me to attend Planning related meetings/seminars organised by the RTPI. Currently I’m a Planning Technical Support Officer and I’m studying to become a Chartered Town Planner, to enable me to become a Planning Enforcement Officer one day.

Giving a speech at a Chartered Town Planner Apprenticeship Celebration
In the office

What do your role as Chartered Town Planner Apprentice involve?

As a large part of the apprenticeship program involves shadowing senior officers, my mentor is of great help allowing me to attend enforcement site visits and assist on live enforcement investigations. I have also watched planning application committee meetings and attended public examination of the new Wandsworth Local Plan. I have had first-hand experience of the skills and professional behaviours required to succeed as an enforcement officer.

Paulina received a Gold Star Team Member statue from her manager
A nomination for team of the year

What have you learnt through the process?

Learning while earning a full-time pay, meeting new people, widening my views and opinions; carrying out research/managing projects/ implementing planning policies and even seeing a bit more of the world during field trips, are just some of the opportunities I was given through the apprenticeship program. I have learnt about: Technologies used in planning, design and visualisation issues, housing, real estate valuation, economic development, community engagement and participation, evidence-based planning, and of course environmental change: issues and impacts. But for me this apprenticeship is not only about the academic work, it is mostly about perseverance and learning to grow as a person. All the knowledge I have and will gain, shall shape a Planner and Enforcement Officer out of me.

Paulina's daughter and cat

Your spare time

What do you do when you are not planning?

As a full-time employee, wife, and mum, it’s difficult to find any free time but when I do have a spare moment my love for animals takes over.