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First appeared in Informer: Real Estate Newsletter - Spring 2013
The Law Commission has recently commenced an important public consultation on rights of light. The deadline for responses is 16 May 2013. The consultation is a very swift response to the serious concerns of business and the property industry about the effect on the economy of the delay, cost and inability to determine outcomes wherever these rights are asserted.
The case of HRUK v Heaney, in which a court ordered a developer to cut back its building substantially, rather than pay damages, even after he had built and let it, struck a chord beyond the legal profession and escalated this consternation.
The Law Commission considers that whilst abolition of these rights would be a step too far, the law relating to rights of light should be substantially changed in order to rebalance the position as between developers and the rights’ holders. The most radical changes proposed include (but are not confined to) a formal notice procedure requiring the right holder to declare his hand when asked by a developer, and a comprehensively revised test for when an injunction is and is not appropriate, together with obligations to register rights.
We are currently assisting our clients who would like to respond to the report to formulate their comments and protect any evidence that they may wish to put before the Commission.
If you would like more detail on the consultation, please do let us know.
A link to the consultation can be found here