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Operations Manager - Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (Ref: 5719)

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Location England (Yorkshire & Humberside) - UK, England (North East) - UK, England (North West) - UK, England (West Midlands) - UK, England (East Midlands) - UK, England (East Anglia) - UK, England (South West) - UK, England (South East) - UK, England (South Central) - UK, England (London & Greater) - UK
Salary Additional Information Salary: £48,434 / Permanent
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 01/03/2024
Company Name Natural England
Contact Name
Natural England logo
Directory Entry : We're the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England. We help to protect and restore our natural world. We were established by an Act of Parliament in 2006. Our purpose is to help conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development. Our vision is ‘Thriving Nature for people and planet’. We aim to achieve this through our mission ‘Building partnerships for Nature’s recovery’. You can see the Natural England vacancies on the Civil Service job site. You can slso view their jobs and similar roles at environmentjobs.co.uk
Also Listing:

A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Contract type: Permanent

Working pattern: Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Location: East Midlands (England), East of England, London (region), North East England, North West England, South East England, South West England, West Midlands (England), Yorkshire and the Humber 

The team

Do you want to make a difference for people and nature? Do you have a passion for securing 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.
  • Providing ways for people to better connect with nature, including green social prescribing.
  • Advising on plans for new developments to maximise gains for nature.
  • Monitoring environmental changes to identify and help reduce the effects of climate change.
  • Working with farmers and landowners to develop greener food production methods.
  • We are the Government’s advisor 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. 

See more about the work of Natural England at:


Natural England staff are inclusive, motivated, and ambitious to achieve results for our environment, and for everyone.  We welcome and encourage applications from all communities and we operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the role. 

Wherever possible we will accommodate 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. 

Summary of the role

This is an exciting opportunity to provide national leadership of Natural England’s engagement with some of the most important development proposals in the country.  Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, or NSIPs, are major planning schemes that present both challenges and significant opportunities for the natural environment.  They cover a wide range of proposals, from wind farms and solar energy to water resources, ports, airports and major new road and rail schemes.  

Natural England’s capability to respond to these major planning cases is being strengthened by additional roles in both area and national teams, and this new, national role will take responsibility for coordinating Natural England’s overall engagement with NSIP projects across the country. 

Job description

Based in our National Planning Delivery Team, the Operations Manager for NSIPs will be responsible for coordinating the effective delivery of the pipeline of NSIP cases across the organisation.  The post-holder will play a key role in ensuring Natural England is able to provide an effective response to the challenges of both a growth in NSIP cases and external reform, managing risks and opportunities accordingly. 

Working closely with both our local area teams and national teams, the role will provide strategic oversight of the pipeline of NSIP cases, ensuring there is a clear understanding of priorities and the support needed across the organisation to enable effective delivery.  Through a focus on the flexible, targeted use of resources, the post-holder will work with delivery teams to build the capability needed to provide high quality advice that secures strong environmental outcomes.  

The National Planning Delivery Team provides dedicated resource to help area teams with the highest environmental value planning casework.  As part of the cohort of new NSIP roles, an additional four Principal Advisers are being recruited into the team and will be managed directly by the Operations Manager for NSIPs. 

As a Manager you will fulfil a key leadership role and will be expected to be a role model for Natural England’s ways of working. 

Key Accountabilities

  • Provide strategic oversight of the NSIP pipeline of cases, ensuring there is a clear focus across the organisation on the scale, complexity and opportunities of NSIP projects, and the delivery priorities in both area and national teams.
  • Provide inspirational and visible leadership, working closely with both area and national teams to ensure there is a sustained focus on NSIP delivery, and encouraging flexible working across teams to maximise the effective use of resources.
  • Lead and manage four Principal Advisers, supporting their ability to work flexibly with colleagues and delivery teams to provide the dedicated support needed to respond to the complexities of NSIP projects.
  • Act as a national focal point for strategic information and advice on NSIP delivery, and champion NSIPs as major opportunities to maximise gains for nature from planning casework.
  • Work closely with Sustainable Development Programme colleagues to ensure we are business ready to accommodate external NSIP reforms and respond to Government requests relating to the delivery of NSIP advice.
  • Work collaboratively with a dedicated working group to ensure the successful implementation of full cost recovery for the new NSIP roles from 2024/25.
  • Drive a culture that prioritises health and safety, staff wellbeing, inclusion, innovation, collaborative working, flexibility, and delivery. 

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

  • The ability to build collaborative relationships with colleagues to help make things happen and deliver outcomes.
  • The ability to work closely with Managers and senior leaders to maximise delivery against agreed priorities.
  • The ability to lead by example, engage and support teams through change.
  • The ability to use insight and evaluation to improve our delivery and outcomes.
  • The ability to identify and manage significant organisational risks.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Excellent planning, prioritisation, and organisational ability to manage complex delivery areas with competing demands.
  • The ability to demonstrate and embody Natural England’s values – of being ambitious, inclusive and collaborative, and of working with integrity.
  • Experience of leading significant change, and maximising resource efficiency and effectiveness through a culture of continuous improvemenet.
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