If a new building limits the amount of light coming in through a neighbours window, and the level of light inside falls below the accepted level, then this constitutes as an obstruction unless the owner of the affected window waivers their rights.
If they do not waiver their rights they will be entitled to take legal action against the landowner, if an expert considers that the light is being blocked.
This could result in the neighbour seeking a court injunction to have the development reduced in height and size, or in some cases compensation may be paid.
Rights of Light Insurance will protect a developer from the risk of a possible future claim on a specific development in respect of the obstruction or reduction of a neighbours Right of Light.
Recent cases such as HKRUK II v Heaney (2010) have highlighted the legal system's increasing willingness to award an injunction against the developer rather than simply compensating the injured parties.
The costs of compensation/damages can be significant, often being based on up to 30% of developer's profit. However, this is still significantly less than the cost of an injunction requiring the demolition of the offending part of the development, possibly following completion and occupation.
Consequently, in order to allow a development to proceed without the delay of awaiting the conclusion of Right of Light matters, a developer can take out an insurance policy to protect themselves from the range of potential costs and diminution in value associated with a legal claim and any consequences of its outcome.
Right of Light insurance policies are available to developers and land owners, post receipt of planning consent, to protect them from the risk of a possible future claim in respect of an infringement of a neighbour's Right of Light.
Policies provide two forms of protection:
Each policy is tailored to the individual development and runs for perpetuity.
To obtain a quotation for Rights of Light Insurance, please either call Ed Bidwell BSc (Hons) MRICS on:
0845 459 7185 or 07968 firstname.lastname@example.org