Sustainable Development Lead Adviser (Ref: 3251)

Natural England

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 28th June 2021


Reference number





Higher Executive Officer
Lead Adviser

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

Both permanent and fixed-term roles available. Fixed-term roles run up to 31 March 2022

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



East Midlands, Eastern, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber

About the job


This is a National Role

Job description

The team

Everything’s better with nature. You included.

We are the Government’s statutory adviser for the natural environment, playing a vital role in delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. This describes an ambitious vision, bringing new opportunities to protect and enhance, and to achieve real outcomes for the environment.

At Natural England, we love what we do. We’re here to make sure people and nature can thrive. A healthy natural environment is fundamental to our wellbeing, prosperity and happiness – that’s why we collaborate with scientists, lawyers, project managers and experts to implement environmental policy and shape decisions.

We work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and customers on a huge range of projects, from influencing construction, advising farmers and landowners how they can manage their land in a sustainable way for the benefit of the environment, gathering and analysing environmental data, and carrying out vital statutory duties. Across the country, we’re helping nature to support people and our planet.

Would you like a role which gives you the opportunity to:

• Work with partners to progress sustainable development and nature recovery
• Be at the forefront of Natural England’s organisational shifts to work in partnership to lead, convene and shape strategic plans for places, enabling a green recovery, creating nature-rich, accessible and characterful places to live and work
• Shape strategic approaches that enable a wide range of people to connect with nature and address inequalities in access to the natural environment.

then these roles contributing to our Sustainable Development, Connecting People with Nature and Resilient Landscapes and Seas work areas could be for you.

Natural England staff are inclusive, motivated and ambitious to achieve results for our environment, for everyone. We welcome and encourage applications from all communities and we operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the role.

Wherever possible Natural England accommodates requests for both full-time and part-time hours and other flexible working patterns to help employees achieve a good work/life balance and maintain their health and wellbeing.

From induction to ongoing learning and development, everyone in Natural England is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. Where appropriate there will be offers of training under our apprenticeship schemes.

See more about the work of Natural England at

Job description

As a Sustainable Development Lead Adviser for Natural England you will work alongside stakeholders and regulators to advise on local plans and projects with the Area Team. Natural England aims to provide early and proactive advice based on the best available evidence. You will work closely with external partners to reach solutions which deliver sustainable growth while securing environmental outcomes. We are looking for individuals who can deliver work that is consistent with the Natural England Conservation Strategy (C21) and the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

Your key areas of work will be:

• Advising on the development of environmental policy within Local Plans and working with partners to embed emerging policy and best practice in areas such as environmental net gain, green infrastructure, natural capital, water and air quality and landscape
• Providing statutory advice to Local Planning Authorities and developers on the environmental impacts and opportunities of planning proposals, seeking to avoid impacts to protected sites and find innovative solutions to maximise gains for nature
• Providing advice through our charged-for Discretionary Advice Service, which supports developers in producing high quality and sustainable planning proposals at pre-application stage. This will also include coordinating Natural England’s advice and input into nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIP’s).

We have a number of roles available. Some roles on offer can only be done from specific offices. This includes Area Team roles where you would be expected to be based in the team’s geographic area. Some National Team roles have ‘hubs’ where you would be expected to join the rest of the team in a specific office. Many roles in National Teams can be undertaken from any office.

You can view a map of our office locations here:

Please specify your location preferences in the appropriate field on the application form.

Successful candidates will be allocated roles in merit order based on scores achieved at interview and in accordance with location preferences, taking into account the work area successful candidates are most suited to wherever possible

How to apply

When completing the application form you should present relevant examples using the STAR format. STAR stands for:

• Situation
• Task
• Action
• Result

Examples should be given in no more than 250 words for each competency. For full details see the attached Candidate Information Pack.

Next steps

If we receive a significant number of applications we may choose to sift applications on the first two competencies of Technical Skills and Knowledge and Personal Effectiveness only.

If you are successful in being invited to interview you will be asked to give examples for all four competencies.


Competence 1

Professional competency

Technical Skills and Knowledge:

• A relevant degree and/or experience in a related field (essential)
• Knowledge of and experience of working within the marine and/ or terrestrial statutory planning system and how nature is incorporated (essential)
• Knowledge of Natural England’s Conservation Strategy (C21) and the government 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP) (essential)
• Experience of reviewing marine and/ or terrestrial planning applications and environmental assets (essential)
• Understanding of people’s connection with nature and how to engage people and partnerships to foster nature recovery and instill sustainability (desirable)

Competence 2

Professional competency

Personal Effectiveness

• Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence (practitioner)
• Be ambitious, identify and adopt ways to make improvements in your team and Natural England and inspire others to act (practitioner)
• Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience (practitioner)

Competence 3

Professional competency

Work Delivery

• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines (practitioner)
• Handle data responsibly, understand your role in good governance, and comply with delegations, policies and procedures (practitioner)
• Consider the financial implications of your work and seek income from our products and services (practitioner)

Competence 4

Professional competency

Creating Resilient Landscapes and Seas

• Identify and apply relevant planning and environmental legislation, policies and processes to deliver effective and proportionate evidence-based solutions and advice (practitioner)
• Identify appropriate solutions for avoidance, mitigation, compensation of environmental impacts and meeting shared outcomes, and identify opportunities for enhancing the natural environment (practitioner)
• Work proactively and collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to identify and secure opportunities to deliver gains for people and nature (practitioner)


Please refer to Job Description


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

Please refer to Job Description

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  Natural England
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

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