Abstraction Permitting Lead

  • Job Reference: UU1557
  • Date Posted: 13 January 2021
  • Employer: United Utilities
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Salary: £34,999
  • Sector: Science & Technology
  • Job Type: Permanent
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

Abstraction Permitting Lead (15633)

Job ID: 15633
Location: Lingley Mere, Warrington
Salary: £34,999.00
Working Hours: 37.00 per week

Job Purpose

The Abstraction Permitting Lead will work closely with the Abstraction Permitting Manager within the Environmental Regulation and Technical Expertise team. The team is instrumental in influencing our Environmental Regulators, in particular the Environment Agency (EA), to ensure we achieve the best outcome for the business. You will be responsible for preparing and submitting abstraction/impoundment licence and drought permit/order applications, so that the business has the necessary permits to conduct its activities. This involves the collation of data from the business; provision of advice and guidance; completion of application forms; liaison with the business and the regulator regarding the application; the recording and monitoring of progress; the review and quality checking of draft permits; acceptance of permits once they are fit for purpose; and the updating of corporate systems with new permit information. You will also track invoices received from the EA and prepare the payment of our permit charges.  You will analyse, track and validate invoices received to ensure they are accurate before preparing payments. The total annual budget associated with our permitting activities is approximately £14m.

Job Accountabilities

Permit Delivery

  • Responsible for Permit Delivery Plan; developing it, tracking it and keeping it up to date.
  • Responsible for negotiation, obtaining, administering and management of abstraction/impoundment licences and drought permits/orders to allow the business to operate legitimately.
  • Proactively manage licences and submit applications (including new, surrender, variations and transfers) to allow the business to operate legitimately.
  • To ensure that statutory requirements for applications are met (including the provision of supporting documents in line with guidance).
  • To ensure internal processes for applications are followed.
  • Lead on the development of need and scope of regulatory commitments including formal agreement with our environmental regulators.
  • Work with project teams to make recommendations and influence capital schemes to ensure regulatory requirements are met.
  • Work with project teams and other key stakeholders to ensure permits are delivered to meet regulatory and business needs and deadlines are met.
  • Monitor and review of permit costs to ensure we are charged the correct amount and any changes in the permit bill are validated and correct.
  • To provide information to the Abstraction Permitting Manager on annual budgetary requirements/changes for new and existing permits.


  • Responsible for the development of communications to ensure the wider business understands their abstraction/impoundment licence and drought permit/order requirements.
  • To establish and maintain effective communications with our regulators on all matters relating to obtaining and monitoring licences or any other regulatory documents/permissions required to allow operations/emissions to the environment.
  • Responsible for interpreting regulator guidance, operational instructions and other communications relating to permitting requirements to establish opportunities and threats.
  • Preparation of regulatory correspondence (e.g. letters to the EA, Natural Resources Wales, OFWAT, Defra).
  • Ensure correspondence with the regulator is appropriate and meets UU's values and reputational aspirations.


  • To develop and maintain effective systems for storage, retrieval and auditing of licence information.
  • To develop and maintain business processes and communications to ensure that required licence information is collected centrally and is reliable, accurate and complete.
  • Development and ownership of licence/permit delivery tracking system.

Knowledge and Skills

  • A degree in a relevant discipline, such as geography, civil engineering, hydrology, hydrogeology, geology or water resources management or degree calibre with at least five years relevant experience.
  • Excellent understanding of the legal framework for abstraction licencing and the reform that is planned.
  • Good understanding of the regulator's (in particular, the Environment Agency) permitting procedures and guidance.
  • Excellent understanding of water resources management including both surface water and groundwater abstraction.
  • Programme planning or management experience.
  • Able to articulate and communicate permitting opportunities and risks to internal stakeholders.
  • Good influencing and negotiating skills, which can be applied when working with external stakeholders (EA, other WaSC) to influence discussions regarding potential changes to permitting procedures and guidance.
  • Computer literate with an excellent knowledge of SharePoint, Excel and other relevant computer systems to enable manipulation of data to aid reporting.
  • Good oral and written communication skills and be comfortable dealing with a range of external and internal stakeholders.
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills to ensure that work is prioritised and managed through to completion in line with permit delivery plan and business needs.
  • Lead the development of processes and systems to ensure that data is reliable, accurate and complete.
  • An understanding of finance procedures.
  • Able to maintain their knowledge and skills to be able to develop themselves within their role.
  • Able to think creatively and develop their own ideas.

Desirable Criteria

Desirable to have a post graduate qualification in a relevant discipline, such as geography, civil engineering, hydrology, hydrogeology, geology or water resources management

Desirable to be Chartered or working towards chartership (CIWEM or equivalent). There will be opportunities to work towards this status through the role.

We need fantastic people to enable us to deliver a great service to the public. We are committed to reaching and recruiting from every community and then supporting employees to achieve their full potential ensuring they feel valued and included, regardless of their gender, age, race, disability, sexual orientation or social background.

If you are offered a job with us, a number of pre-employment checks need to be carried out before your appointment can be confirmed. Any offer of employment with United Utilities will be subject to a satisfactory checking report from the Disclosure Scotland / the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Closing Date: 31/01/21
Disability Confident