Background and requirements

National Grid is the national electricity transmission company in England & Wales and, as a monopoly, is regulated by the energy regulator, Ofgem, setting price controls and licencing National Grid’s transmission operations.  The regulation framework is called ‘RIIO’: Revenue = Incentives + Innovation + Outputs.  RIIO-T1 is just finishing and RIIO-T2 will run from April 2021 to March 2026.  The Visual Impact Provision project falls under the ‘innovation’ element of RIIO.

The project is making use of a £500m provision by Ofgem to carry out work to ameliorate the impact of existing transmission lines in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). It is guided by a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG), composed of representatives of national park and AONB associations, the statutory bodies for landscape and heritage in England and Wales, interest groups such as Ramblers, CPRE and CPRW, etc, as well as a representative from the Landscape Institute.  It is chaired by Chris Baines and attended by a representative of Ofgem.

After a landscape and visual impact assessment a long list of potential improvement projects was identified, of which four major projects are in progress, to underground sections of overhead power line which have the greatest adverse effects: a project in the Dorset AONB, engineering works are advanced and expected to be completed in 2022; projects in the Peak District National Park and Snowdonia National Park, have received planning approval, and a planning application for a project in the North Wessex Downs AONB is expected to be submitted during 2021.  In addition to the major engineering projects, a ‘Landscape Enhancement Initiative’ (LEI) was established for landscape projects that would mitigate adverse effects on a more local and low-key level.

Click here for more information about the Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project.

LI Representative on SAG

The LI’s representative provides a holistic landscape point of view on the SAG and contributes to the landscape and visual considerations of the projects and their selection.  This is an influential role for a relatively senior chartered landscape professional, with:

  • Recent experience of participating in consultative groups, leading on landscape matters
  • Ability to contribute at a high technical level to discussions of landscape and visual amenity issues
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with others
  • Good communication skills
  • Good understanding of matters related to nationally designated landscapes, especially in England & Wales
  • Good understanding and professional experience of landscape and visual impact assessment
  • Ability to understand and contribute to analysis and resolution of strategic issues relating to the VIP
  • Knowledge of LI’s policies relevant to the role, such as the Working Together Policy.

What the Role Involves

This is a voluntary role and not remunerated.  Landscape Institute will pay travel-to-meeting expenses, in line with LI Expenses Policy.

The SAG meets usually twice or three times a year, hosted by National Grid.  Before COVID-19 restrictions, meetings were held either in Birmingham or near a project site and lasting most of a day.  Occasionally, where a project site is being visited, the meeting may extend to a second half day.  Currently, meetings are held virtually.

The role is within the remit of the LI Technical Committee and the representative provides briefings and updates to the Committee at least once a year but preferably after each meeting.

If you are interested in submitting an application for the role, please send your CV and a brief note about your interest in the project to technical@landscapeinstitute.org by 9th April 2021.

The LI welcomes applications from everyone irrespective of gender and ethnic group however, in order to improve representation, we particularly encourage applications from members of ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities and people from the LGBTQ community. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Tagged as: SAG, technical, VIP, Visual Impact Provision, volunteer

To apply for this job email your details to technical@landscapeinstitute.org.