A long-awaited Rights of Light decision

In a long-awaited decision, the case of Beaumont Business Centres Limited Vs Florala Properties Limited resulted in an injunction against a completed and let development.

Delva Patman Redler’s Alistair Redler outlines the Key points:

  • What was relevant was whether there was a nuisance, a financial loss in this case, to the dominant owner
  • The principal legal burden is for the developer to show why the injunction should not be granted.
  • The court also decided the appropriate damages sum. Beaumont can accept the damages instead of enforcing the injunction.
  • This is important, because it stops the grant of injunction from creating a ransom position.
  • The “book value” method of valuation was not even considered by the court.
  • Damages based on actual loss to the neighbour were considered but were not appropriate.
  • Damages were a share of the profit of the part of the development causing the rol injury. It was again 1/3 of profit with only minor adjustment. It still has to “feel right”.
  • Radiance was considered but the Waldram method was preferred. The dominant owner has no right to have external reflected light maintained, or be obliged to maintain existing internal reflectance.
  • This will strengthen the position of neighbours in rol negotiations and lead to higher settlements based on loss of profit.