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  • FIRST POST
    • mudlouse
    • By mudlouse 14th Mar 17, 9:28 PM
    • 10Posts
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    mudlouse
    Rights to light
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 9:28 PM
    Rights to light 14th Mar 17 at 9:28 PM
    Hi,

    I've been living in London for a number of years now. The local housing association has issued a compulsory purchase order for several blocks of flats with the aim of regenerating the area.

    My house (that I own) is not situated on their list of land to purchase (phew!).

    But they have sent me a lot of information, because my house is right on the boundary of land they will be acquiring. I have been identified as having a possible actionable claim to 'Rights of Light'.

    I think this is because whatever they will be building in place of the existing flats, may block some of the sky that faces a side of the house. The existing flats are relatively low, so currently isn't a problem.

    Anyways, does anyone know if my understanding is right? and if so, how should I proceed? Do I need to involve solicitors?

    What I mean is, I'd like to find out how I will be impacted - I'd like to see the regeneration plans from the housing association to determine how I will be affected. Obviously, I'd rather they not build something that blocks out all the light - realistically I doubt I can stop them, the next best may involve seeing if they have anything arranged in terms of compensation.


    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 15th Mar 17, 3:59 PM
    • 9,064 Posts
    • 6,887 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 3:59 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 3:59 PM
    You can't realistically do anything until the HA submit a planning application to the planning dept of the council. As a neighbouring occupier you will usually receive very brief details of the planning app, which you can view in more detail online or at the council offices.

    You can object to the planning application and possibly get your local councillor onside. But unless it is a severe loss of light it is doubtful if your objection would carry much weight, so you would have to check if in any other way the building offended the council's current planning policy.

    Also doubtful is the matter of compensation, neither HAs nor councils are known to offer compensation to neighbours affected by planning decisions unless it later transpires there were irregularities.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 15th Mar 17, 4:21 PM
    • 4,921 Posts
    • 4,497 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:21 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:21 PM
    Also doubtful is the matter of compensation, neither HAs nor councils are known to offer compensation to neighbours affected by planning decisions unless it later transpires there were irregularities.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Think we're talking about actual rights to light (as a property right) rather than planning considerations. Not sure of exact procedure but compulsory purchases normally include costs of the sellers' professional advisers, in which case yes the OP should seek legal advice.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 15th Mar 17, 4:50 PM
    • 20,908 Posts
    • 11,992 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:50 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:50 PM
    http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/consumer-guides/rights-to-light/
    may be worth a look.
    • ComicGeek
    • By ComicGeek 15th Mar 17, 5:01 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    ComicGeek
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:01 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:01 PM
    Just make sure you do not sign anything to give up your rights to light - it could be worth a lot of money!
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 15th Mar 17, 5:54 PM
    • 1,369 Posts
    • 1,921 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:54 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:54 PM
    But do other research too - for example wikipedia's entry on the subject says the following:

    Recent case law from 2010, relating to a commercial development in the centre of Leeds (HKRUK II v Heaney) has significantly changed the perceptions of risk associated with right-to-light, particularly in the context of commercial schemes. This case upheld an injunction against a commercial property. The result of this is that many developers are now looking to work with local authorities to try to use section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This potentially stops injunctions against schemes that have over-riding social or economic advantages to an area.
    Urban regeneration by a Housing Association might well fall into this category....
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 15th Mar 17, 8:30 PM
    • 9,064 Posts
    • 6,887 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:30 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:30 PM
    Think we're talking about actual rights to light (as a property right) rather than planning considerations. Not sure of exact procedure but compulsory purchases normally include costs of the sellers' professional advisers, in which case yes the OP should seek legal advice.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Neither I nor OP were referring to compulsory purchase. OP is wondering if they lost light whether they could claim compensation.
    • ComicGeek
    • By ComicGeek 15th Mar 17, 10:06 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    ComicGeek
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:06 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:06 PM
    You can't realistically do anything until the HA submit a planning application to the planning dept of the council. As a neighbouring occupier you will usually receive very brief details of the planning app, which you can view in more detail online or at the council offices.

    You can object to the planning application and possibly get your local councillor onside. But unless it is a severe loss of light it is doubtful if your objection would carry much weight, so you would have to check if in any other way the building offended the council's current planning policy.

    Also doubtful is the matter of compensation, neither HAs nor councils are known to offer compensation to neighbours affected by planning decisions unless it later transpires there were irregularities.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    2 completely separate issues raised by the OP - connected by impact on daylight, but completely separate in legal terms:

    1) Planning - the OP has a valid objection if the proposals would reduce the existing daylight levels within their habitable rooms by more than 20%, although this wouldn't normally be grounds by itself for throwing out the proposals.

    2) Rights to Light - not covered at all under planning policy or permission, is a separate legal issue between the developer and the OP. The OP could get compensation for any reduction in daylight, or could get an injunction against the physical building of the development if it is a significant reduction. Hence the initial contact by the HA to start communication, as this could stop the development if not managed properly.
    • mudlouse
    • By mudlouse 16th Mar 17, 8:59 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mudlouse
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 8:59 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 8:59 PM
    Hi all, thanks for the replies.

    Just a bit more info on this. The housing association have already demolished and built flats on the earlier phases of the regeneration project. They've been in touch previously to let us nearby residents know of their intentions (the CPO and regeneration, but no designs). To be honest, it is a real improvement to the area - though it has priced out a lot of people.

    They have moved into the phase that indirectly impacts me now. The CPO's have begun, most of the directly affected residents have moved out and properties boarded up.

    My main interest now is finding out what they plan to build near me (I'll try contacting the housing association to find out), and if it does block out quite a lot of light I do want compensation (do I need a solicitor for this? or is it something I can do?).
    • Fuzzyness
    • By Fuzzyness 17th Mar 17, 10:47 AM
    • 612 Posts
    • 457 Thanks
    Fuzzyness
    out of interest, does the block they (the HA) acquired already have planning permission by any chance? i
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