GCN District Licensing - LPA Newt Officer x4


£26,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

naturespaceuk.com [email protected] Sarah Garratt

Sectors: ecology, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Friday, 19th March 2021  

NatureSpace District Licensing - LPA Newt Officer - 4 posts

  • Northamptonshire
  • Sussex
  • Staffordshire
  • Berkshire

£26,000 pa 
Full time, fixed term contract (initially for 1 year but with the expectation of renewal)
The closing date for applications is 5pm on 19th March 2021.
You will be notified by 2nd April if you have been selected for interview.
Interviews will be held (probably virtually) on 13th April.  

How to apply:  

Send your CV and a covering letter to [email protected] before 5pm on Friday 19th March 2021.

The role:

This is an exciting opportunity for an early-career graduate, perhaps with some environmental consultancy, planning authority or protected species licensing experience, to work on a nationally important ground-breaking project, embedded in the public sector but working with and for both the private and NGO sectors to deliver a step-change in the conservation of great crested newts.

Natural England have granted a series of ‘District Licences’ to Local Planning Authorities across England that allow them to authorise (under strictly defined terms) activities that affect newts at the same time as they grant planning permission. The District Licensing scheme has significant advantages for newt conservation (and which also provides wider biodiversity benefits) through a fully funded region-wide conservation strategy that creates high quality habitat at a landscape scale and delivers long-term management and monitoring for newts. The scheme benefits developers because the licensing process for great crested newts is simplified and streamlined.

The District Licensing scheme is designed and administered by NatureSpace (a private sector company) is adopted by the Local Planning Authorities and is regulated and approved by Natural England, whilst being fully supported by the country’s leading amphibian and freshwater NGOs – Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and the Freshwater Habitats Trust. The habitat creation, management and monitoring are delivered by a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society – the Newt Conservation Partnership, which works with landowners and managers to create and manage new ponds and other habitats across the region. 

District Licensing is now expanding and we anticipate, subject to successful surveying and modelling, that Licences will be applied for by the Local Authorities, and issued by Natural England, in each of the four counties above during 2021. Note however that nothing in this advertisement should be seen as prejudicial to those decisions.

Employment and location: 

The successful candidate will be employed by NatureSpace Partnership and, subject to approval by the Local Authorities, seconded to support local planning authorities. The postholder will be expected to spend the majority of their time working alongside planning and ecology colleagues within Council offices as well as working remotely from home where necessary. We are recruiting for 4 posts – one in each of the 4 counties noted above. The post will be mainly desk based but will also require site visits across both relevant local planning authority areas. There will also be additional travel requirements for attending annual meetings and/or training sessions.

Main duties of the role: 

  1. Raise general awareness of the district licensing scheme
    1. With developers, agents, planners, consultants, etc. – through LPA webpages, literature, meetings, etc. 
    2. Within the LPAs – to promote the scheme and the conservation strategy amongst staff and Members 
  2. Enable good planning decisions
    1. Ensure LPA staff are familiar with the district licensing scheme and the processes and protocols 
    2. Provide specific and general advice to planners on reports, certificates and authorisations under the district licence 
    3. Help ensure that licence requirements are appropriately translated into planning conditions 
    4. Help ensure that all developments properly address their ecological impacts
    5. Monitor developer compliance with any newt-related planning conditions under the scheme 
  3. Provide a point of contact for newt-related matters for the LPA(s) to liaise with NatureSpace Partnership, the Newt Conservation Partnership and Natural England as required.
  4. Ensure relevant LPA staff and Members are informed of the outputs and outcomes of the district licensing scheme, as appropriate
  5. Participate in and contribute to the Newt Officer network across the wider District Licensing area. Including bi-monthly catch-up meetings and regular NatureSpace and Newt Conservation Partnership meetings.

The successful candidate will have:

  1. A degree in ecology or environmental management
  2. Knowledge and understanding of ecological impact assessment and/or biodiversity in planning
  3. A genuine enthusiasm for ecology and conservation in the UK

Key skills:

  1. An organised, methodical approach to work, with high levels of independence and motivation
  2. Excellent communication skills – written and verbal, and good administrative skills
  3. A full driving licence with access to a car for business travel
  4. Knowledge of European Protected Species legislation, planning and licensing policies
  5. Experience in great crested newt survey and or mitigation practice
  6. Knowledge and experience of the local planning system

Please mention environmentjob.co.uk when responding to this ad.