The Law Commission has published its report on rights to light.
The Law Commission key recommendations are as follows:
- A new statutory test, based on proportionality and public interest, to address whether issue of where damages should be awarded instead of an injunction.
- A "Notice of Proposed Obstruction" procedure. The purpose of this is to flush out any claims to an injunction that an adjoining owner may have at an early stage. Unless the adjoining owner responds to such a notice within eight months by applying for an injunction, it will not subsequently be entitled to an injunction. Instead, the adjoining owner's remedy will lie solely in damages.
- An easement of light will be considered to be abandoned if the light is not enjoyed for five years. For example, the bricking up of a window for five years would be sufficient to demonstrate an intention to abandon the right.
- The Upper Tribunal to have the power to modify or discharge rights to light (in limited circumstances).
These are merely recommendations. Whether and when they will be enshrined in statute remains to seen, but they seem to show a sensible and pragmatic approach to be seen.