5714 - Infrastructure Sector leads Senior Advisor

Senior Adviser
Full Time, Part Time, Part Time/Job Share
Environment & Sustainability

We are looking for Senior Advisers to join our team and work alongside our Infrastructure Principal Advisers and the wider SGA Planning and Infrastructure Team to provide the leadership and technical focus to drive forward Natural England’s ambitions for the natural environment. This will be delivered through our policy advice and by helping to shape the way in which we deliver our statutory advice on major infrastructure work.

 You will play a key role in shaping Natural England’s response at a critical time with fundamental changes proposed to the planning, infrastructure planning and environmental assessment regimes under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, British Energy Security Strategy and related reforms. . 

A key focus of these roles will be interacting with key industry bodies and partner organisations. You will work proactively to build an understanding of the aims, objectives and challenges of industry and partners. Collaborative work both internally and externally will be required to identify and maximise opportunities to improve our evidence base and knowledge, driving forwards solutions which help further the ambitions of the government’s Environmental Improvement Plan.

You will provide national leadership and technical advice for your core topic area to ensure consistency of advice both within and across sectors, through the development and provision of training, guidance and leading technical networks.

 Key Tasks and Accountabilities

 The post holder(s) will need to maintain a flexible and adaptable attitude and approach. Initial broad work areas are likely to comprise those described below:

  • Act as sector lead on specific terrestrial infrastructure sector(s). For Example:
    • Carbon and Hydrogen (generation, transmission, and storage).
    • Renewable Energy (Solar/Onshore Wind)
    • Nuclear Energy
    • Energy & Water Transmission Networks
    • Transport

We are working in a changing and evolving policy environment with the likelihood of more hybrid types of developments. Exact details will be determined based on the emerging infrastructure pipeline and the skills and interest of the candidates. Successful candidates will need to be flexible and willing to adapt in response to the changing demands on the team.

  • Lead specified work areas, working closely with staff across Natural England’s teams on infrastructure and planning advice to ensure that our proposals for change are well thought through and address both risks and opportunities for the natural environment.
  • Provide technical advice to Defra, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and the Department for Transport (DfT) to support NE’s response to the Levelling Up Act and related secondary legislation, policy and guidance including responses to national consultations.
  • Build effective relationships with Defra, DLUHC, DfT and other Government Department colleagues alongside key infrastructure stakeholders, developers and industry groups
  • Provide technical infrastructure planning advice to operations teams on casework including environmental assessment processes and strategic approaches as required.
  • Act as the relationship manager for key planning and infrastructure stakeholders as required.
  • Lead/contribute to technical guidance, briefings and, training on infrastructure and planning.


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.

Natural England provides excellent opportunities for career progression, training and development tailored to your role. From induction to ongoing learning and development, everyone in Natural England is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. Everyone has 10 days to devote to personal learning and development, as well as an additional 3 days to volunteer. 

You will have access to Civil Service Pension and benefits arrangements and generous leave allowances (33 day per year pro rata), as well as flexible working, to help you achieve a work-life balance that works for you and us.

You will have access to a range of benefits including discounts on shopping vouchers, cycle to work scheme, and childcare vouchers. You can also join the Civil Service Sport club which offer discounts on a range of sports and leisure opportunities as well as social events.

Natural England is a fantastic place to work, where difference is celebrated. 

We’re committed to fairness and equality for all, so you feel valued for who you are and what you do. Our shared values help us work together to benefit the communities we serve. Our thriving employee-led diversity networks support our inclusive culture and contribute to our Diversity Action Plan. 


Natural England is adopting hybrid working – which means our staff work from a flexible range of locations, encompassing home, offices (ours and our partners) and relevant sites. 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 geographical area. Full time staff are expected to attend their associated office for a minimum of one day a week. 
Staff members are required to carry out all their duties working in this way and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time. Travel expenses will be paid if work related travel is required but does not apply to travel between home and your associated office.

National team roles can be linked with any Natural England office.

View a map of our office locations here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/natural-england-office-locations.


It is Natural England policy to employ at the entry point of the salary range. 

How to Apply

We welcome and encourage applications from all communities. Natural England is accredited to the Disability Confident Scheme, which denotes organisations which have a positive attitude towards disabled people. Disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the role at the shortlisting stage are guaranteed an invitation to interview. 

If you require a reasonable adjustment at interview, or there is anything else you would like the panel to take into consideration, you should notify us of this at application stage where possible, or well in advance of your interview.

This vacancy uses competency-based assessment. We'll assess you against the competencies below during the selection process:

  • Technical Skills and Knowledge.
  • Putting People at the Heart of the Environment
  • Creating Resilient Landscapes and Seas.
  • Personal Effectiveness.

When completing the application form you should present relevant examples using the STAR format. Give us an example of how you have demonstrated the competency (which can be work related or from another area of your life) and tell us about the Situation, the specific Task you had to undertake, the specific Actions you took, and the Result (both immediate and in a wider context) of your doing so.  

Please note that STAR format is not required when answering the Technical Skills & Knowledge competency.

Examples should be given in no more than 250 words for each competency.  


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, and
  • Providing ways for people to better connect with nature, including green social prescribing. 

 We are the Government’s Adviser 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. 

Find out more about the work of Natural England at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/natural-england 

The Team  

The Planning and Infrastructure Team forms part of the Sustainable Development Team, located within Strategy and Government Advice, in the Strategy Directorate of Natural England.

The Team works across the terrestrial and marine environment to:

  • Advise Government on national policy issues, contributing to the development of planning policy, guidance and process changes and responding to national consultations.
  • Provide strategic technical advice and leadership to our programme and operations teams and develop new approaches to planning and infrastructure work;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key national partners including Government, other regulators and agencies, NGOs and the commercial sector.

 This presents a unique opportunity to influence government policy to secure greater outcomes for the natural environment, whilst also playing a key role in both supporting and shaping Natural England’s Planning and Infrastructure work.

Alex Southcott



Emma Brown



07/04/2024, 23:55 hours

Basic Check (BPSS)
Professional competency
Technical Skills and knowledge
• A relevant degree and/or extensive experience in a related field. (Essential)
• Technical expertise and applied experience of the marine planning system, legislation, national policy and guidance the Town and Country Planning System, and Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (Essential).
• Technical expertise and experience of the application of environmental assessment processes to planning casework (HRA, EIA, SEA) (Essential)
• Experience of working with key national external partners and stakeholders that have been directly engaged with the infrastructure/planning system systems. (Desirable)
• Understanding of the legislative/policy/strategic context of infrastructure and planning work e.g., 25 Year Environment Plan, Environment Act, National Policy Statements, National Planning Policy Framework, Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (Desirable)
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. (Practitioner)
• Nurture trusting partnerships and collaborate to achieve pragmatic outcomes that help deliver the organisation’s vision, mission and aims. (Practitioner)
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).
Professional competency
Personal Effectiveness
• Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience (practitioner).
• Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence (Expert).
• Share expertise and knowledge with people and networks so that you can develop together (Practitioner)
Natural England

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.

This Vacancy is closed to applications.