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“A Right to Light”- Commercial Conveyancing

Commercial Property

Right to Light Law

A recent Court of Appeal case has highlighted the importance of a Commercial Developer taking particular care when inferring with a neighbours right to light.

Right to light is an established part of English law, and can arise either by express agreement and be written down in a person’s Deeds (or alternatively can be specifically excluded), or can arise by enjoyment of the light over time.

In the case of HKR UK II (CHC) Ltd (“Highcross”) v Marcus Heaney, Highcross built an office block in Leeds city Centre. The last two storeys severely restricted the light to Mr Heaney’s property.

My Heaney won an injunction forcing Highcross to take down the top two floors. The Court could have awarded damages to Mr Heaney for Highcross’s breach of the right to light. The Court felt that the developer’s actions in proceedings regardless and with knowledge this would cause an actionable injury, and his was driven largely by profit. The cost of reparation works was said to be in the region of £1.2- £25m

For a property owner therefore it is important to know and be able to enforce their right to light. For a developer it is important to prepare, and even to insure against, such risks. There is also Notice of Obstruction of Light and applications under s237 Of the town and Country Act 1990 that should be considered by the developers.

If you require further information or wish to discussion any issue then please contact Matthew Jones 01772 426532 or email matthew@solicitordirect.com

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