Dearth of planners from the UK forces council to search for suitable candidates in Brisbane and Melbourne

Four planning and building control officials have agreed to give up life in sunny Australia to take up new jobs in the marginally less beautiful London suburb of Croydon.

Officials from the borough recently launched a recruitment drive on the other side of the world due to a shortage of appropriate staff back home.

After conducting interviews in several Australian towns, four new recruits signed up for jobs in Corydon and are expected to arrive later this summer. Two of the successful applicants come from Melbourne, one from Brisbane and the other from Sydney.

Planning staff are the second hardest for local authorities to recruit after social workers, and Croydon council says it turned to international recruitment after struggling for years to find permanent staff locally.