Is Overlooking a Nuisance? Supreme Court to Decide

24 Dec 2020 | Shilpa Mathuradas

Is overlooking a nuisance? The Neo Bankside residents granted permission to go to the Supreme Court

In February 2020 the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the decision not to allow the Neo Bankside residents an injunction to close part of the Tate Modern’s viewing gallery. The residents have now been granted permission for a final appeal to the Supreme Court.

You will recall that five residents launched a nuisance action claiming that they were under constant surveillance from visitors to the gallery who were looking into their homes and posting photographs on social media. This they claimed was a breach of their human rights and interfered with their enjoyment of their flats. They state that there is little to view from the platform apart from Neo Bankside.

Previously the High Court had said that overlooking could in theory constitute a nuisance but dismissed the residents claim. The appeal was dismissed on the basis that overlooking does not fall within the tort of nuisance. They commented that subject to planning permission being given an owner can actually create windows that overlook a neighbour’s property. The Court of Appeal commented that there are other laws that protect privacy and are better able to weigh up the interests of parties than the Courts.

No date has been set for the matter to be heard by the Supreme Court but it is likely to be in 2021 and it will be interesting to see whether the Supreme Court agree with the Court of Appeal given the far-reaching ramifications.

For more information on Overlooking Nuisance Claims, read Shilpa Mathurada’s recent blog here.

If you have a property litigation issue, and would like to speak to  Shilpa Mathuradas, or a member of her team, call 020 7584 8811 or complete an online enquiry form.

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