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Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

Location: Reading
Qualified as a solicitor: 1989

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Karen Jones is a partner and head of our nationally ranked Planning & Environmental law team and a highly regarded planning and environmental lawyer with 30 years' experience.

Karen's expertise includes strategic planning advice, planning appeals, public inquiries and environmental law, particularly nature conservation law. She has practised as a parliamentary lawyer and had considerable involvement in The Channel Tunnel Rail Link project. Karen has worked in Local Government (in roles including interim head of legal and solicitor to the council), where the majority of her projects involved significant planning, environmental and conservation considerations.

Karen has published a practitioner's guide, Conservation and Land Use (2000) and has written articles for sector journals, including a regular column for Waste Planning, while also featuring in the media. 

Karen is a legal associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute (LARTPI) and holds both an LLB (Hons) Law and LLM Environmental Law from University College London. She previously taught at the College of Law and has lectured at the University of Reading's renowned School of Real Estate & Planning, part of Henley Business School

Karen attends and speaks at a wide range of planning and sector focused events in London and across the Thames Valley, including the firm's biannual Property & Planning seminars.

Planning magazine’s 2019 Planning Law Survey ranked Blandy & Blandy LLP among the UK's top 25 planning law firms, while the firm is also highly ranked in the UK's leading guides to law firms, Chambers UK and The Legal 500. Karen is also individually recommended in both guides, with the latter naming her a 'leading individual' in the field, and acknowledged as one of the top 20 planning law solicitors in the UK by Planning magazine.

Examples of recent work

  • Dealing with a major public inquiry defending permit revocation proceedings instigated by the Environment Agency against an important and nationally strategic waste recycling plant.
  • Application for diversion of highway to facilitate implementation of a planning permission for a 250,000 tonne aggregate recycling facility in Hampshire adjacent to an SPA.
  • Strategic advice on issues arising at a strategic development location site for 725 houses including comprehensive delivery of infrastructure, open space provision, primary school and SANG land.
  • Advice on lifting of S106 restrictions including restrictions limiting the occupation and use of residential property.
  • Complex S106 negotiations for major development involving provision of a care home, general needs affordable housing, significant infrastructure contributions, open space, playing field and nature park facilities, transport, community facilities and school provision and land transfers, involving negotiation with both local and county authorities.
  • Dealing with an appeal against enforcement proceedings at a prominent site where heritage and conservation area issues are key, including coordinating preparation of evidence for the case, and preparation of grounds of appeal and statement of case documents for inquiry proceedings.

Areas of Expertise

  • Strategic advice on development opportunities, advising and managing planning projects of significance, including major housing development and infrastructure proposals
  • Planning enforcement and lawful use, particularly Certificates of Existing Lawful Use or development applications
  • Local authority planning issues
  • Village greens advice
  • Environmental regulation and enforcement
  • Nature conservation law 
  • Contaminated land issues
  • European Nature Conservation designation, including SPA and SAC implications

Professional Memberships:

Legal Associate, Royal Town Planning Institute (LARTPI)
Member, UK Environmental Law Association (UKEL
Member, Country Landowners’ Association (CLA)
Member, The Law Society

Education:
University College London, LLB (Hons) and LLM Environmental Law

Accreditations & Awards:
Recommended, Chambers UK
Leading individual, The Legal 500
Finalist - 'Property Law Firm of the Year' Thames Valley Property Awards 2018
Top 20 UK Planning Law Firm - Planning magazine
Winner - 'Property Law Firm of the Year' Thames Valley Property Awards 2017

What our clients say...

“Karen Jones brings a deep and thorough knowledge of environmental law, town and country planning law, local government and other regulatory regimes which is not matched by many other solicitors in her field.”

“Department head Karen Jones is highly sought after for her expertise.”

“Karen Jones is highly regarded for her work in planning and environmental matters, and is particularly strong on regulatory enforcement and conservation issues.”

“I find Karen's level of technical knowledge quite staggering.”

“I would highly recommend the services of Blandy & Blandy and I am delighted with the result achieved working with Karen Jones and her colleague Kayleigh Chapman.”

“Somewhere it is written that you are considered amongst the UK's top Planning lawyers Good for you, for your firm... and for us!”

“As well as being extremely knowledgeable and experienced in their field, they also take the time to ensure everything is explained and I was very comfortable that the work carried out was always within the budget we agreed. Thank you Karen and Kayleigh for all your hard work to date.”

“Karen speaks with knowledge and authority.”

“Exceedingly efficient and commercially aware.”

“An extensive knowledge of planning and environmental law.”

“Karen and Kayleigh have advised me on producing objections to a number of planning development applications in the last 12 months, including challenging a Certificate of Existing Lawful Use, which without their help and guidance would not have achieved the successful result recently obtained.”

News & Insights

Karen Jones Comments on Government's ‘Build Build Build’ Agenda
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

The Thames Valley - What Next for Major Infrastructure Projects?
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

Progress on Standard Rules Under Environmental Permitting Regulations
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

Definitions of Waste – Again! European Court Faces Questions
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

Courts Take a Dim View of the Obstruction of Environment Agency Inspectors
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

Garden Towns and Communities – Grazeley and Other Proposals Awarded Government Funding
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

Right to Build (Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding) Explained
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

DEFRA Cracks Down on Crime With Launch of Resources and Waste Strategy
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

Asbestos Exposure - Breach of Prohibition Notice Leads to Director Disqualifications
Karen Jones

Karen Jones

Partner, Planning & Environmental Law

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