Planning Ecologist

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Planning Ecologist

Job Type: Full Time / Permanent

Location: The position will be based in the National Park Headquarters in
Brecon. Powys.

Salary: £37,336 – £40,221 per annum

National Parks were designated in order to protect beautiful areas for the benefit of the
nation. They came about as a result of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside
Act, which put a legislative framework in place for the establishment of National Parks in
England and Wales.

The Role

Working closely with the Policy Officers and Development Management Case Officers and other
key staff such as the Land Use and Nature Recovery Manager, Place Coordinator and Climate

  • Provide BBNPA’s first point of contact for all ecological matters associated with the
    planning function of the Authority.
  • Assist the Head of Policy and other key staff with the development of advice, policy and
    guidance, including the drafting of Supplementary Planning Guidance where appropriate.
  • Assist the Head of Planning and other key planning staff by providing advice, comment and
    quality control for planning applications and consented developments that affect landscape
    features, designated sites and features and priority habitats and species within the timescales
    set out by the Development Management process.
  • Provide advice when seeking Planning Obligations to secure biodiversity enhancements where
    applicable. Develop processes and undertake the on- going monitoring of sites to ensure the
    implementation of net benefits for biodiversity and protected species’ mitigation secured
    through the planning process.
  • Provide for Habitats Regulations Assessment (including Appropriate Assessment) on behalf of
    the BBNPA as Competent Authority in relation to potential effects of development on the
    designated sites of the National Site Network.
  • Take a lead role in planning decisions on nutrient impacts on designated sites and their
    ecological features and to contribute to strategic planning on nutrient issues.
  • Ensure the effective provision of advice about the wider natural environment, both
    internally and externally.
  • Respond to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening and scoping requests in terms of
    the EIA Regulations in relation to ecological conservation issues and to assess and provide
    comment on Environmental Statements submitted to the Authority.
  • Act as an expert witness for the Authority in respect of ecological conservation matters at
    any planning appeal, public inquiry or court case. To represent the Authority as required in
    public meetings, and to give advice when required by Members in Authority committee meetings.
  • Provide advice, comment and quality control for assessments, method statements and works
    associated with any Statutory Undertakers overhead or underground transmission or pipeline, in
    particular works affecting land owned by the BBNPA, landscape features, designated sites and
    features and priority habitats and species. Provide conservation advice on reinstatement,
    restoration and any ecological enhancement works (if required) carried out in relation to the
    work of Statutory Undertakers.
  • Any other duty, appropriate to the grade and nature of the post, as occasionally required
    by the Director of Planning and Place or the Chief Executive.

Skills & Qualifications

  • Educated to degree level, preferably postgraduate degree level, or equivalent in ecology or
    a similar environmental subject, or posses equivalent experience in the public and/or
    non-governmental sector.
  • Full member of CIEEM (or similar) or capable of meeting this status.
  • A minimum of 2 years proven experience, ideally within a protected area or local planning
    authority or conservation organisation, providing conservation policy advice and advice to
    development management officers in relation to the natural environment.
  • Working knowledge and understanding of legislation, policy and guidance affecting natural
    resource management, and development management.
  • Excellent inter personal, oral and written presentation skills, able and willing to speak
    and operate with authority and confidence, representing the organisation in public.
  • Good understanding of how the natural environment is affected by development and how those
    features can be conserved, restored and enhanced; good understanding of where to source the
    relevant expert advice from.
  • Computer-literate, familiar with the usual suite of Microsoft desktop applications.
  • Able to plan and organise work effectively, ensuring that outputs are of a high quality and
    to meet tight deadlines associated with the planning application and appeal process.
  • Good team member, willing to share thoughts and ideas with colleagues and other individuals
    and organisations.
  • Willingness to undertake occasional evening and/or weekend work with time off in lieu as
    and when required.
  • A valid and full driving licence.
  • Level 0 Welsh Language Skill.


  • 23 days per annum plus 8 public holidays and 2 extra statutory days, pro rata.
  • The pension scheme in place is a standard Local Government one; the employee contributes
    5.5% (up to £16,500) which rises to 5.8% (£16,501) of their contractual hours worked and the
    employer currently contributes 20.9 %.

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