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Archive for June, 2012

Yet more light on the issue

As we reported in August 2011, the Law Commission is investigating whether the current law re rights to light provides an appropriate balance between those benefiting from this easement and those wishing to develop neighbouring land.  Amonst the many bodies assisting the Commissioners with their enquiries is the British Property Federation.

Whilst developers await the Law Commissioners deliberations, a BPF working party, chaired by Gerald Kaye of Helical Bar, is working towards a right to light dispute protocol, presently in draft form.  Its proposed aim is to improve communications between a developer and adjoining owners by establishing a framework and timescale for disclosure of information and conducting negotiations.

Many will support the BPF move but developers seeking to insure against a potential claim should speak to its insurers before commencing negotiations.

In the meantime, the courts continue to deliverate on the topic.  Judgements in recent years have reminded developers that to breach another party’s right to light will lead to an injunction preventing or even removing an offending development (see for instance HKRUK II v Heaney).  However, a recent High Court judgement (much spoken of and written about but not yet formally reported) in CIPT (AIPT) Ltd v (1) Transport for London (2) London Underground (3) Derwent Valley Central, reminds potential claimants that they cannot make a pre-emptive strike.  The claimant sought an injunction to prevent an infringement of its rights by a proposed development for which planning permission had not yet been granted.  The court dismissed the claim and stated it premature.

If you wish to hear more about rights to light, why not contact Hatherleigh Training?