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Archive for August, 2011

More light on the subject

Historically, claims to rights to light have most commonly arisen in the City of London where further development in this crowded square mile has almost inevitably led to interference with neighbours’ easements.  However, the sums reportedly paid in compensation have led to a rise in claims as lawyers become more familiar with this ancient right.

As we see the courts enforcing rights by way of injunction both to prevent development and to demolish that which has been built in breach of a right, developers have found their potential profit diminish.  Additionally, in order to protect their community plans, local authorities have been known to acquire an interest in land thus overriding claims pursuant to s237 Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

As we reported in June 2011, the Law Commission recognized the need to look into this area of law and in its eleventh programme of reform published in July, it confirms that it will investigate whether the current law by which rights to light are acquired and enforced provides an appropriate balance between those benefiting from the rights and those wishing to develop land in the vicinity.

The Commissioners state “We intend to commence this project in early 2012, publishing a consultation paper in early 2013.  We will, in discussion with the Department for Communities and Local Government, review how the project should be taken forward at the time of publishing our preliminary proposals and after analyzing the responses to our consultation.  If both the Commission and Government agree that further work is appropriate, we will aim to produce a final report, with draft bill, late 2014 or early 2015.  If either party decides at an earlier stage that the project should not continue, we will produce a narrative report of our conclusions.”

If you would like to hear more on rights to light, why not contact Hatherleigh Training?