Private nuisance is usually caused by a person doing something on their own land, which they are lawfully entitled to do, but which becomes a nuisance when the consequences of what they are doing extends to a neighbour’s property.
In February 2014, the Supreme Court delivered an important judgment on the principles of private nuisance which could have practical implications on individuals, developers and operators of various noisy [or other nuisance causing] activities.
The case concerned a claim by property owners, Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields, who owned land in West Row (Fenland, Cambridgeshire) against the owners of a racing track and stadium situated nearby.
The track and stadium were used for various motor sports throughout the year and in July 2002 the council granted permanent planning permission for it to be used as a motocross track.
In January 2006, Lawrence and Shields moved into Fenland. Concerned about the noise from the motocross events, they complained to their local council. The complaint eventually resulted in the service of noise abatement notices requiring the owners of the track and stadium to carry out works to reduce the noise levels.
Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields issued proceedings for an injunction to restrain the nuisance in early 2008 as the discussions did not provide what they considered an acceptable outcome. The owners of the track and stadium filed a joint defence in late 2009 denying nuisance. It was concluded in favour of the property owners.
The owners of the track and stadium appealed against the decision where it was concluded that Lawrence and Shields had failed to establish that the activities at the track and stadium constituted a nuisance.
Lawrence and Shields appealed this in the Supreme Court. Recently the Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal, concluding that the track and stadium activities constituted a nuisance.
This is a noteworthy case which has important implications for operators of noisy or controversial activities, developers and local planning authorities when considering the role and impact of planning permission and private nuisance.
Following this case, it is important to take account of the effects that an alteration, development, or the change in use of a building has in relation to planning permission, its terms, and private nuisance.
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This website and associated online services are provided by The Planning Objection Company Ltd (trading as iObject.co.uk). The business was founded in 2012 to provide a dedicated planning objection advice and consultancy service - specifically helping those people wishing to oppose planning proposals.
Planning applications submitted throughout the UK are able to be challenged by members of the public for a wide variety of reasons. However, how this is best achieved is generally unclear and can be extremely daunting to the uninitiated. We are planning consultants who specialise in helping people to get their views heard during the planning application phase of building and development projects. We currently cover the English and Welsh planning systems - which are governed by the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (As amended) and by various National Planning Policy Guidance, along with statute and related policies. Local plans and planning authorities also have their own individual planning policies that add additional layers of complexity to the objection and representation process.
We are here to make the objection process simple, concise and straightforward - enabling our customers to build the best possible case for halting inappropriate development.
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