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Extinguishing the right to light by prescription

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UK Prime Minister David Cameron has likened his battle against planning regulation to the war against Nazi Germany. Now it looks as if a Blitz-style blackout will be a crucial part of Britain’s bid to build itself out of recession. The government wants to abolish the right to light.

The thinking is that valuable developments are being prevented by the centuries-old “easement” of light, whereby the owners or occupiers of one building should not have light reduced by new buildings or other blockages on neighbouring ground. The Law Commission has been tasked with reviewing the law – preferably to get rid of it.

The case that has set the bees buzzing around government ministers’ bonnets is HKRUK II (CHC) Ltd v Heaney (2010) in which developers built two new storeys to a property in Leeds and a judge issued an injunction requiring them to be removed since they blocked some of the light to a nearby building. Read the rest of this entry

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