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February 20, 2013


First the right to lawful sports and pastimes, next the right to light. Where will the abolition of our ancient rights end?

Last Monday (18 February) the Law Commission, with ministers’ backing, began to consult about plans to axe people’s ancient entitlement to daylight in their own homes. Currently, if the light has been constant for at least 20 years, the occupier has gained a right to light, and can object to neighbouring developments or extensions which block that light.

This consultation has been provoked by a high court case in Leeds in 2010. Here, Alexander Heaney, owner of a grade II listed Victorian building, took the developer of a neighbouring property to court, after the property had been built, because it blocked his light. The judges ordered the demolition of the top storeys.

Part of the driving force behind the consultation paper is ‘to ensure that rights to light do…

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