CD Hood's Building News


Jun 08
2017

The right to light?

Posted by: CarlHood

Commercial builders CD Hood Ltd have lots of experience e of extending, renovating and developing properties in and around Cambridgeshire. If you are extending a property close to a neighbour, and are worried that what you want to build might significantly reduce the light that reaches their plot of land and or passes through their windows, you may be infringing their right to light. 



If what you want to build does indeed infringe there right to light it could give them the right to seek an injunction to have your proposed development reduced in size or in some cases people seek a take a payment to compensate for the reduction of light. Indeed if the loss of light is small and can be adequately compensated for financially, the court may award compensation instead of an injunction.

But it is much better to make sure that you have taken into consideration your neighbour’s right to light in the planning process.  In England and Wales, a right to light is usually acquired by what is called prescription meaning the light has to have been enjoyed for an uninterrupted period of 20 years through the windows of the building. But once acquired, the right to light extends only to a certain amount of light such as is suitable for the continuous use and enjoyment of the building, and is not a right to all the light that was once enjoyed.

So this means that the right to light can be reduced by development so you shouldn’t  assume that any reduction in light to your neighbour’s property gives grounds for them to prevent your development it’s just important to calculate that if there will be any loss of light, if so, how much.

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