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Head of Environmental Services and Central Operations

Reference     (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors   Environmental, CSR & Sustainability
Location   England (South West)
Town/City   BS1 6PN
Salary   £65,773 - £72,387
Type   Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status   Full Time
Level   Senior Level
Deadline   07/04/2020
Company Name   The Planning Inspectorate
Contact Name  
Website   Further Details / Applications
Also Listing:
The Planning Inspectorate has a long and proud history of ensuring a fair planning system by acting as the appellate body for planning decisions in England and Wales and the national consenting authority for national infrastructure. The work we do has a significant impact on the economy, people's live and the communities that they live in, whether that is considering an appeal for a house extension or a large scale development, providing support to local authorities on local plans or providing recommendations to the Secretary of State on power stations, or airport expansions such as Heathrow.

It is a really exciting time to be joining us. We’ve embarked on an ambitious programme of business change supported by a complete refresh of our systems that support our core business services. We are transforming the way in which we deliver services to our customers.

This role is high profile both across the Operations Directorate and the Planning Inspectorate as a whole. You will be our lead environmental expert, supporting inspectors and other professional colleagues with the best technical expertise whilst also representing us externally. You will work across the organisation leading our work to understand and improve our environmental impact. As environmental concerns become central to cross government decisions, we expect the profile of the role to become even more important.

You will also provide strategic leadership for other crucial services supporting the whole directorate including making sure we get better at forecasting service demands and the people and skills we need.

Job description

As Head of Environmental Services you will provide robust advice to applicants and other stakeholders, Inspectors and caseworkers on matters relating to land rights and access; Provide Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs); and Habitats Regulations Assessments in pre and post application discussions. You will work across the organisation as its organisational lead on understanding and reducing our environmental impact.

You will develop effective procedures to manage and deliver high standards of professional environmental support and advice to Inspectors, applicants and other stakeholders.

You will provide leadership with professional judgement and advice on a range of casework, including applications for development consent for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) and a variety of Town and Country Planning casework; ensuring that robust environmental expertise underpins all decisions and that all casework complies with environmental legislation
You will quality assure and agree transboundary decisions and applications to obtain information about interests in land or rights to enter land under the NSIP regime.

You will quality assure and approve requests for screening and scoping opinions for EIAs within the statutory timeframes

You will quality assure and approve Habitat Regulations Assessments (HRAs) ensuring inspectors and the competent authority are provided with appropriate reports.

You will quality assure recommendations to the Secretary of State to obtain information about interests in land or rights to enter land.

Working in conjunction with the Horizon Scanning Lead, you will develop knowledge management pro-actively and share appropriately with stakeholders.

As Head of Central Operations functions, you will oversee the establishment of this new team which has been designed to assist the Operations Directorate to work efficiently and effectively.

You will work with the team to develop resource, income and forecasting models, ensuring Inspectors and caseworkers are available with the right skills to meet casework demands and reasonable assumptions are provided to underpin financial predictions. You will work with colleagues to manage Inspector development; you will ensure optimum use of resources across all casework areas, developing deployment flexibility and continuously improving productivity.

You will support the team to formulate a full induction programme for new Inspectors.

You will ensure GDPR duties are fully understood and compliant processes maintained across all casework areas with effective support.

You will support the team to coordinate?process/service changes to improve customer experience and increase efficiency via continual service improvement methods.

You will lead and manage the team Managers, promoting professional learning and development and supporting staff by coaching and mentoring.

Further details can be found in the candidate pack below.


Essential criteria
• A planning or environmental degree or equivalent qualification and significant experience of implementing planning and environmental policy and legislation.
• Experience of leading an operational casework process service in a professional environment against a background of competing priorities and resource constraints.
• Up to date knowledge of environmental and planning legislation.
• Sound understanding of current planning and environmental policy, processes and challenges.
• Experience of delivering successful operational change and promoting continuous improvement.
• An ability to communicate, influence and operate clearly and effectively at all levels, including Board level.
• Ability to build strong working relationships and excellent negotiating and influencing skills and the ability to secure agreement to solutions whilst managing competing priorities of a range of senior stakeholders.
• Analytical skills to evaluate data from various sources and to identify benefits and risks in order to make well considered judgements.
• Good financial and budget management skills
• Dynamic and inclusive leadership, actively and visibly role modelling values of Civil Service Leadership statement with energy and enthusiasm.
• Ability to think strategically and understand impact of changing processes on organisational reputation and its customers.

Desirable criteria
• Membership of relevant professional body
• Experience of coaching and mentoring
• Experience of presenting to and/or participating in high profile and potentially challenging public/stakeholder meetings.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Changing and Improving
  • Leadership
  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions



Access to learning and development tailored to your role?
• A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options
• A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity?
• A civil service pension
• 25 days annual leave on entry, increasing on a sliding scale to 30 days after 5 years’ service. This is in addition to 8 public holidays, this will be complimented by one further day paid as a privilege entitlement to mark the Queen’s Birthday
• The office is centrally located next to Temple Meads station, with on-site gym and cafeteria

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.
Please submit a cv and 1000 word statement stating why you feel you are suitable for the role.
A panel will assess your application to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence have provided against the criteria set out in the Job Description and Person Specification section.

The final shortlist will be interviewed.
Interview Date: 14th April 2020.

You will be required to do a presentation and take part in a staff panel as well as attend an interview. We are proposing to do this online. However, if you wish to apply but may have difficulty in joining us online, please let us know.

We encourage all candidates to make themselves familiar with the role as they may be assessed against any criteria stated within the Job Description.

The Planning inspectorate are committed to finding the right person for the job. We recruit using Success Profiles and consider the criteria you will need to demonstrate to be successful for the role, by doing this we are improving performance, diversifying our workforce and creating an inclusive culture.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

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.
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