Planning and Environment Lead Adviser(Ref: 4185)

Natural England

Apply before 11:55 pm on Tuesday 12th July 2022



Reference number





Higher Executive Officer
Lead Adviser

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

Both permanent and fixed term roles available. Fixed term roles to end of March 2023 with possibility of extension.

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time, Term time working

Number of posts



East Midlands (England), East of England, London (region), North East England, North West England, South East England, South West England, West Midlands (England), Yorkshire and the Humber


This position is based at Ashford (Kent) , Bridgwater , Bristol , Cambridge , Crewe , Eastleigh , Exeter , Kendal , Leeds , Lincoln , London, Manchester , Newcastle-upon-Tyne , Norwich , Nottingham , Penrith , Peterborough , Reading , Telford , Truro , Wallingford , Worcester , Worthing , York

Job description

Do you have a passion for nature and the environment? Do you want to make a real difference and secure significant environmental gains in the present and the future? Do you enjoy working in a team? Can you see yourself advising communities and customers to maximise gains for the Natural Environment?

If this appeals to you, a career at Natural England offers rewarding opportunities to secure environmental improvements and play your part in creating a better future for people and nature.

The priority work Natural England is delivering includes:

• Establishing a Nature Recovery Network to help wildlife thrive.
• Monitoring environmental changes to identify and help reduce the effects of climate change.
• Working with farmers and landowners to develop greener food production methods.
• Advising on plans for new developments to maximise gains for nature.
• Providing ways for people to better connect with nature, including green social prescribing.

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

See more about the work of Natural England at:
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 we will accommodate 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.
Natural England is adopting hybrid working – which means that our staff will work from a flexible range of locations, encompassing home, offices (ours and our partners) and relevant sites. By default, all new staff will be formally linked to one of our 25 offices across England and the expectation is that all new staff will be able to access their local office to be part of the community of staff in their geographic area.

The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties working in this way and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time.

National team roles can be linked with any Natural England office while Area Team roles will be linked with an office in the relevant geographic area.

View a map of our office locations here:

We will assess you against the competencies below during the selection process. When completing the application form you should present relevant examples using the STAR format. STAR stands for:

• Situation
• Task
• Action
• Result

A maximum of 250 words is allowed for your response to each competency. The Candidate Information Pack has lots of useful information – read it before you begin completing the application form. Please note STAR format is not required for the ‘Technical Skills and Knowledge’ competency.

Job description

As a Planning and Environment Lead Adviser for Natural England, you will work in one of our Area Teams to advise on Local Development Plans, infrastructure and housing projects and develop new approaches to manage pressures like recreational disturbance and water pollution. By engaging early with major developments, we have the opportunity to work collaboratively to avoid negative impacts to the natural environment, provide appropriate mitigation and secure large scale environmental outcomes which benefit nature and people’s connection with nature.

This is a rewarding role with fantastic opportunities to secure positive environmental outcomes on the ground and to further our Nature Recovery Network. You will have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of high-profile cases.

The role includes:

• Providing statutory advice to Local Planning Authorities on the environmental impacts and opportunities of planning proposals and Local Plans.
• Proactively leading and building partnerships with customers and stakeholders to resolve complex planning issues and to develop collaborative strategic approaches to maximising gains for nature.
• Providing advice and input into Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

You don’t have to currently be in a planning role, but it would be helpful to have knowledge and experience of environmental legislation and the planning system and/or a working knowledge of habitats and species.

As this is a large recruitment campaign the expected timeline may be extended. Candidates should expect to hear if they have been invited to interview in early August. Unfortunately, due to the size of this recruitment we are unable to provide feedback to candidates.


Competence 1
Professional competency

Technical skills & knowledge

• A relevant degree (e.g. geography, environmental studies, planning, ecology) or alternative qualification and/or suitable relevant experience, please specify. (Essential).
• Knowledge of the application of the Town and Country Planning Act to shape environmental solutions for designated sites, protected landscapes and species (Essential).
• Knowledge of Habitats Regulations Assessments, Sustainability Appraisals and Environmental Impact Assessments and the Development Plan process (Desirable).
• Understanding of ecology and habitats in relation to the planning system, including Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) developments. (Desirable).

Competence 2
Professional competency

Personal effectiveness.

• Be ambitious, identify and adopt ways to make improvements in your team and throughout the organisation, and inspire others to act. (Practitioner).
• Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence. (Practitioner).

Competence 3
Professional competency

Putting people at the heart of the environment.

• Listen to and understand our diverse partners and customers so that you achieve the best outcomes for them and the organisation you represent (Practitioner).
• Work proactively and collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to identify and secure opportunities to deliver gains for people and nature. (Practitioner).

Competence 4
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).


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


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 settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of 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.
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

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