Great Crested Newt District Licensing - LPA 'Newt Officer' x2

NatureSpace Partnership

Bedford & Aylesbury
c.£24,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract 07722 942709 Sarah Garratt

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Monday, 2nd April 2018  

Recently, Natural England awarded a 'District Licence' for great crested newts to seven Planning Authorities in the South Midlands that allows them to authorise (under strictly defined terms) activities that may harm newts at the same time as granting planning permission. The District Licence scheme has significant advantages for developers in simplifying and streamlining the processes they need to go through to met their legal obligations to the great crested newt - a European Protected Species.  The scheme provides developers with certainty, significantly reduced delays, and reductions in both surveys needed and long-term management obligations.  Equally, the scheme offers very significant conservation benefits to newts by funding and delivering a region-wide conservation strategy that creates 4 high quality ponds plus terrestrial habitat for every one pond lost to development.

The District Licence scheme has been designed and administered by NatureSpace, is adopted by the Local Planning Authorities, is regulated and approved by Natural England, and is supported by the country's leading amphibian NGOs - the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and the Freshwater Habitats Trust. The habitat creation is being delivered by a new not-for-profit Community Benefit Society - the South Midlands Newt Conservation Partnership which works with landowners to create new ponds and habitats.

As part of the scheme, each of the Local Planning Authorities are hosting a 'newt officer', who will work alongside planning and ecology colleagues in the Local Planning Authority. The 'newt officer' will be employed by NatureSpace but seconded to the Local Planning Authority.  This advert is for two such posts - one based in Aylesbury and one on Bedford.

The LPA 'newt officer' will be largely desk-based and work within the Planning Authority to:

Raise general awareness of the District licensing scheme

  • With developers and their consultants and ecologists – through LPA websites, literature etc
  • Within the LPA - promote the scheme, and the newt conservation strategy, across all appropriate staff


  • Ensure LPA planning staff are familiar with the scheme and the process (dealing with NatureSpace certificates and reports)
  • Provide specific advice to LPA planners on any NatureSpace Partnership reports
  • Ensure that recommendations in NatureSpace Reports are translated appropriately into planning conditions
  • Ensure that any developments which are not covered under the scheme revert to business as usual for great crested newt procedures (survey, impact assessment, mitigation proposals and subsequent licence application to NE)
  • Monitor developer compliance with any newt-related planning conditions under the scheme

Provide a point of contact for newt-related matters for the LPA to liaise with NatureSpace Partnership, the South Midlands Newt Conservation Partnership and Natural England as required

Ensure relevant Planning Authority staff and Members are informed of the outputs and outcomes of the scheme, as appropriate.

The successful candidate will have:

  • A genuine enthusiasm for ecology and conservation in the UK 
  • An organised approach to work, with a high level of independence and motivation
  • Good communication, both written and verbal, and administration skills
  • A full driving licence

The following knowledge and experience would be highly desirable:

  • Good understanding of the planning system and its ecological requirements
  • Experience of working with and/or for relevant stakeholders including planning authorities, ecological consultants and developers
  • Experience of working with great crested newts

Please apply in writing, submitting a 2 page CV and covering letter, to Sarah Garratt at the email address - the closing date for applications is 2nd April 2018.

Please mention when responding to this ad.