Jonathan's experience includes all aspects of planning and environmental law, including judicial review, statutory appeals and major infrastructure projects. He has represented both developers and planning authorities in respect of large housing developments, wind-farms, major waste management facilities, motorways and trunk road schemes. On the basis of this experience he was invited in 2010 to provide training for Commissioners at the Infrastructure Planning Commission, that deal with large scale infrastructure projects including energy, transport and other major infrastructure projects. Jonathan has also provided recent training to Welsh local authorities and planning professionals on renewable energy development.
He has advised local planning authorities on their Local Plans and Core Strategies, most recently advising Herefordshire Council throughout the process on their Local Plan (adopted October 2015).
Recent High Court work has included successfully challenging the grant of planning permission for development affecting listed buildings, defending planning permissions for major mixed use development and infrastructure projects, representing a County Highway Authority in respect of the meaning and application of section 278 agreement, successful section 289 enforcement notice and section 288 planning appeals.
He has both prosecuted and defended in Crown and Magistrates Courts in relation to planning, listed buildings and other enforcement actions. His Court experience includes extensive experience of judicial review and section 288 challenges at all levels, including the appellate courts. He also has particular experience in planning enforcement appeals and section 289 appeals to the High Court.
Jonathan is recognised as a leading junior in both Legal 500 2015 and Chambers & Partners 2015 and as an expert in his field of practice in "Legal Experts 2015".
Recent examples of his work include:
Judicial Review/Statutory High Court challenge
- (on the application of Trustees of the Cecil Estate Family Trust) v South Kesteven DC  EWHC 1978 Development; Listed buildings; Planning permission: Status: Decision successfully quashed.
- (on the application of Oxted Residential Ltd) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 1484 Local Plan section 113, CIL schedule. Status: Under appeal to Court of Appeal due to be heard February 2016.
- Hopkins Homes Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 132 NPPF, policies for supply of housing, settlement limits. Status: Under appeal to Court of Appeal. Due to be heard November 2015.
- Village Developments Plc v Tandridge DC  EWHC Judicial review. Tree Preservation Order. Status: Decision successfully quashed.
- R. (on the application of Corbett) v Cornwall Council  EWHC 3958 (admin) wind farm, listed buildings, Habitat Regulations. Status: Application successfully resisted.
- Truro City Council v Cornwall Council  EWHC 2525. Major mixed development, development plan policy. Status: Application successfully resisted.
Infrastructure and Waste
- Upper Vaunces Wind Farm, Lincolnshire.(2014) Jonathan Clay successfully acted for local consortium of parish councils in Norfolk in defeating repeated major windfarm appeals in South Norfolk. Principal issues; landscape, historic buildings, need for renewable energy development, residential amenity.
- Blockade Services Perrylands Lane, Surrey. Section 174 Enforcement Appeal against Surrey County Council. Jonathan acted for the successful appellant. Substantial waste development in the Green Belt. Raised important points relating to abandonment of previous use. Appeal allowed.
- Trewern Argae: Ministerial appeal under the Water Resources Act 1991 concerning flood defence development in a river flood plain in 2009/10 to protect historic buildings. Jonathan represented successful appellant. Appeal allowed and full award of costs against Environment Agency.
- Crowholt Windfarm, Notts. In January and February 2007, Jonathan represented the local planning authority in a public inquiry concerning what was proposed to be (at the time) the largest on-shore wind farm in England, successfully persuading the Secretary of State to refuse permission.
- Cophall Farm Airport Parking Surrey: A series of planning battles including a major public inquiry, and successful challenge to Inspector's decision in High Court finally delivered a major airport parking scheme in 2014 on Green Belt land near Gatwick Airport. Jonathan represented the successful appellant.
- v. OAO East Sussex County Council v SSCLG & Robins EWHC 4841 Reported Case summaries JPL  89. Judicial Review. Jonathan Clay acted for successful appellant in having enforcement notice quashed and full costs awarded. Jonathan successfully represented the Second Defendant in resisting legal challenge in High Court. Sec of State not represented. Permission hearing treated as final hearing by Judge. Important case on powers to correct enforcement notices and duties of respective authorities in mixed use cases involving both County and District matters.
- HMS Ganges, Nr Ipswich, Suffolk. July 2010. Jonathan acted for Babergh District Council. Section 78 reserved matters appeal involving major scheme for redevelopment of former historic Royal Naval Training School including several historic buildings and ancient monuments. Case involved novel points on Environmental Impact Assessment of reserved matters application. Appeal dismissed.
- Brownhills Business Park, Walsall, March 2010 and 2011. Jonathan acted for Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council. Section 78 Appeal for redevelopment of major active Business Park for housing. Case turned on conflict of policies for protection of employment land in Unitary Plan and Regional Strategy. Appeal allowed, but challenged under section 288, High Court quashed the decision with costs and remitted it to the Secretary of State. Appeal withdrawn with costs in 2011.
- Blue Circle - Bromley Common. Jonathan acted for the appellant obtaining permission on appeal in the dramatic Blue Circle appeal in London Borough of Bromley where his clients obtained approval on appeal for 850 homes on unallocated Green Belt land in Bromley.
- Brighton and Hove Albion Stadium, Falmer. Acting on behalf of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, Jonathan celebrated victory in 2008 for them in a long-s running battle to gain planning permission for the 22,500 seat Amex stadium at Falmer, on the edge of the National Park outside Brighton.
Commons, Towns and Village Greens
Jonathan has appeared in several high profile town and village green cases appearing for or advising both applicants and objectors to registration. Examples include:
St Andrew's Gardens, Gravesend (2010). Jonathan acted pro bono for objectors in five day public inquiry against Morag Ellis QC in a Town and Village Green inquiry in North Kent. The case raised important and novel points of law concerning registration where Council appropriated land under a range of statutory powers and acquisition by adverse possession. Result. Town Green registered on part of application site. Client: Urban Gravesham Civic Society
Fern Road, St Leonards Hastings (2011-12). Lengthy and hard fought 8 day public inquiry where Jonathan acted for the landowner in successfully objecting to and defeating an application for a town green for land which has the benefit of planning permission. Client: Michael Pickup of Town and County Planning Solutions, East Sussex.
Jonathan is fully familiar with the principles of SEA and has recently advised Herefordshire in respect of their LDF and its SEA.
Energy and renewables
Jonathan has acted in several windfarm inquiries. His success rate in opposing wind farms of over 65% (well above the 50% national average) speaks for itself. He has provided seminars for local government in Wales concerning the application of Welsh renewable energy policy. Examples:
Crowholt Windfarm, Notts. In January and February 2007, Jonathan represented the local planning authority (Bassetlaw) in a public inquiry concerning the largest on-shore wind farm in England, successfully persuading the Secretary of State to refuse permission.
Grange Farm Wind Farm, Lincolnshire. Jonathan Clay acted for South Holland District Council. Major windfarm application in undesignated Fenland site. Section 78 appeal. Principal issues; landscape, historic buildings, need for renewable energy development, residential amenity. Appeal allowed.
Upper Vaunces Wind Farm, Norfolk. Jonathan acted for Rule 6 party in fully argued long running section 78 appeal concerning large scale wind turbine development. Issues include noise, biodiversity, effect on landscape and historic environment, contamination, flicker. Appeal dismissed.
Green belt and countryside
Jonathan has acted for a number of clients, in relation to a wide range of developments. His Green Belt caseload has included large scale developerment [See Blue Circle - Brormley Common, where Jonathan acted for the appellant obtaining permission on appeal in the dramatic Blue Circle appeal in London Borough of Bromley (July 2007) where his clients obtained approval on appeal for 850 homes on unallocated Green Belt land in Bromley]. He has also acted in complex but also small scale enforcement and non residential development. - See Fidler v SSE  EWCA 1295
Highways and transport infrastructure
Jonathan's highways casework ranges from major motorway and trunk road public inquiries (eg M54, M1) to footpath and right of way cases. He has acted for the Highways Agency and local highway authorities in several high profile cases, including junction improvements and motorway services, motorway widening and by passes.
Jonathan acts for housing developers on housing and mixed use residential schemes. He has wide experience of acting for developers and local planning authorities in planning appeals in both rural and urban locations, most recently [December 2012] acting for Sunleys in obtaining planning permission for 500 dwellings at Kingsway in Burgess Hill in Mid Sussex. See also Bromley Common, and Brownhills.
Minerals and Waste
Jonathan has acted for mineral extraction developers in several high profile cases, dealing restoration and scope of work, including the major called in inquiry concerning Shoreham Quarry and Cement Works. His expertise in dealing with Environmental Impact issues has proved highly valued.
Planning enforcement is one of the most complex areas of planning law. Jonathan acts for appellants at all levels of enforcement work with some very high profile successes. His success rate of over 80% speaks for itself. Most recent cases include
- Blockade Services Perrylands Lane, Surrey. Section 174 Enforcement Appeal against Surrey County Council. Jonathan acted for the appellant. Substantial waste development in the Green Belt. Raised important points relating to abandonment of previous use. Appeal allowed.
- Cophall Farm, Surrey: A major airport parking enforcement inquiry at Gatwick Airport in summer 2008. Jonathan represented the appellant. Successfully challenged Inspector's decision in High Court.
Jonathan has acted for local authorities and developers in a number of retail and mixed use town centre cases.
Rights of way
Jonathan has represented clients in both public rights of way and private rights of way, including cases involving the mysterious doctrine of Lost Modern Grant.
The Historic Environment
Jonathan has acted in a number of high profile cases involving listed buildings and development in conservation areas, including acting for the Royal Yacht Squadron in respect of Cowes Castle. He is currently representing defendants in a major listed buildings enforcement prosecution in Sussex.
Environmental Law, including waste disposal, recycling, flooding, control of pollution, species and habitats protection and all areas of associated European law comprise a major area of practice for Jonathan; a long standing member of UKELA. He acted for the successful appellant in the first ever appeal by public inquiry under the section 110 of the Water Resources Act 1991, with a full award of costs against the Environment Agency (see Trewern Argae). He acts for major engineering and recycling firms, including FM Conway, where his complementary planning practice has also stood his clients in good stead (see Chelsfield Ammunition Depot). He has considerable experience in defending prosecutions in the Crown Court and Magistrates' Court for regulatory offences concerning pollution, waste etc and is currently representing clients in respect of a number of alleged offences concerning waste disposal.
Jonathan has advised and successfully represented a number of clients in prosecutions, as well as appeals and High Court challenges in this complex and specialist field of law. His expertise extends to cases including waste permitting, town and country planning, Environmental Protection Acts, Water Resources and Land Drainage Acts , Jonathan has experience across a wide field of relevant legislation ranging from the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to the Environmental Protection Acts and he can provide advice on procedure, law, evidence, as well as providing representation in the Courts at all levels.
Jonathan has considerable experience advising in respect of this highly specialised environmental law discipline, both in the preparation of local plans and in evidence in planning appeals. He has advised and represented local planning authorities and appellants, working with expert witnesses in respect of existing and potential Natura 2000 and other European protected sites.
Jonathan has provided advice and representation to waste operators on the Landfill Directive and the Environmental Permitting Regulations and on proposals for waste facilities of all kinds. He is currently acting for a waste management company in a prosecution under the Permitting Regulations and preparing to act in a Permitting inquiry and a town and Country Planning Enforcement appeal.
Compulsory purchase and compensation
Jonathan's compulsory purchase experience includes public inquiry work and advice in respect of major infrastructure projects, including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, East Coast Main Line and major trunk road/motorway projects.