Lead Adviser for Planning and Sustainable Development

Minimum £26,224
27 Oct 2020
15 Nov 2020
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Level

Lead Adviser for Planning and Sustainable Development

Minimum £26,224

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Cumbria Team in a key role within our structure. You would join us at a time of great opportunity to develop a rewarding and challenging career as we integrate key themes such as Biodiversity net gain, Green infrastructure and Green recovery into our strategic plans and policies. Cumbria itself is a stimulating and diverse area with a considerable mix of rural and urban environments and opportunities to work on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPS).

Why work in Cumbria?

 Cumbria is home to some of the richest, wildest and most remote areas of natural beauty in England. We host more legally protected sites and landscapes than any other English county. The iconic landscape of the Lake District has just been awarded World Heritage status but Cumbria extends well beyond, and includes the English Solway Coast, the extensive North Pennine uplands and the Borderlands. Our residents, visitors and wildlife enjoy a wide range of habitats from the sea and coast, to rivers, lakes, bogs, meadows and fells.

Our team is focused on four key goals; establishing greener farming and fisheries, delivering sustainable development, connecting people with nature, and creating resilient landscape and seas for current and future generations. We work together with a wide variety of partners and stakeholders to secure a healthy environment, economy and society.

This role is suited to someone with previous planning/ environmental experience and is appropriate for those working towards, or who already are, chartered members of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) or other relevant professional body.

We have offices in Kendal and Penrith and the role can be based from either of these offices.

We offer flexible working, a generous leave entitlement and a culture focused on wellbeing and inclusivity.

Requirements of the role.

As the Lead adviser for Sustainable Development (and working with our Sustainable Development adviser) you would be responsible for:

  1. Strategic and pro-active policy development, advice and guidance
  2. Working with local planning authorities to support the development of their local plans and environmental policies, responding to statutory consultations and pro- actively embedding best practice in areas of emerging policy such as biodiversity net gain, green infrastructure, natural capital and nature recovery
  3. Collaborative working and pro- active engagement activity with partners on strategic environmental planning issues and opportunities within Cumbria

Co- ordinating Natural England’s planning advice on major developments and nationally significant infrastructure projects

  • Co-ordinating input from our specialist staff to provide statutory advice to Local Planning Authorities and developers on the environmental impact and opportunities of planning proposals
  • Providing innovative solutions to maximise gains for nature and to avoid impacts on protected sites
  • Reviewing surveys and assessments to inform planning responses and to identify mitigations measures as appropriate
  • Meeting statutory timelines for responses
  • Working directly with developers at pre- planning stages through Natural England’s charged for advice service, ensuring protections and net gains for the environment are secured at an early stage

We are looking for a candidate who has strong skills in:

  • Developing collaborative partnerships
  • Engaging with a range of stakeholders- sometimes those with conflicting viewpoints- to reach solutions which deliver sustainable growth whilst securing environmental outcomes
  • Co-ordinating and writing technical planning/ environmental advice

We are looking for a candidate who has sound knowledge of:

  • Planning legislation such as the Town and Country Planning Act and how this is implemented in practice
  • Environmental impact assessments, sustainability appraisals and habitats regulations assessments
  • Key national environmental legislation and guidance such as Conservation 21 and the 25 Year Environment Plan


Creating resilient landscapes and seas (Practitioner)

  • Identify and apply relevant planning and environmental legislation, policies and processes to deliver effective and proportionate evidence- based solutions and advice;
  • Assess environmental impacts and opportunities of spatial plans and developments to provide outcomes focussed strategic solutions and advice within a landscape scale context
  • Identify appropriate solutions for avoidance, mitigation, compensation of environmental impacts and meeting shared outcomes; and identify opportunities for enhancing the natural environment
  • Provide advice on the need for, and scope of, environmental assessments (e.g. Environmental Impact Assessments, Habitat Regulations assessments, Sustainability Appraisal, Strategic Environmental Assessment)
  • Understand and apply net gain principles and approaches when giving advice

Putting people at the heart of the environment (Practitioner)

  • Work proactively and collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to identify and secure opportunities to deliver gains for people and nature
  • Listen to and understand our diverse partners and customers so that you achieve the best outcomes for them and Natural England
  • Understand and explain the outcomes that we seek in your local patch and how these fit in with local and national issues
  • Communicate environmental and social evidence, its implications, and the messages from it, persuasively to a range of internal and external recipients in order to maximise the impact of that evidence

Personal Effectiveness (Practitioner)

  • Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience through both written and verbal communication
  • Reach and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence
  • Progress your personal development and take responsibility for keeping your knowledge and expertise current
  • Develop internal and external networks within which you can source and share expertise and knowledge to promote the collective development of your colleagues
  • Approach your work with energy, enthusiasm and a determination to find a way through challenges

Work Delivery (Practitioner)

  • Be decisive, combine your professional judgement with evidence to inform your decision making
  • Proactively manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines, balancing competing demands on your time, and prioritising effectively
  • Be able to use your own initiative to bring suggested solutions to problems when briefing colleagues, and know when to ask for help from others
  • Use relevant data/ evidence to analyse and interpret trends, outcomes and issues

Technical/ Specialist knowledge

  • A broad understanding of the planning system and its processes and experience of providing consultation responses on planning issues (Essential)
  • Experience of relevant legislation and policy affecting protected sites/areas and species e.g. Birds and Habitats directives, Wildlife and Countryside Act and Town and Country Planning Act (Desirable)
  • Experience of evaluating Habitats Regulations Assessments, Sustainability Appraisals and Environmental Impact Assessments (Desirable)
  • Understanding of the Development Plan and NSIP processes (Desirable)
  • A demonstrable ability and desire to learn new areas of expertise in order to fulfil the task relevant to the post (Essential)

Contract type: Permanent, Full time

Salary: Minimum £26,224

Closing date for applications: November 15th 23:55

For further information contact Helen Smith. [email protected]

To apply click the 'Apply Button'