A New South Wales landowner sued the local council, alleging nuisance on two grounds. Firstly, the council had allowed stormwater run-off to discharge onto the plaintiff's land. Secondly, the council had obstructed stormwater run-off from flowing away from the land.
As a result of both those factors, the land had become very wet, and the Wallum froglet had taken a liking to it. The froglet, a protected species, multiplied considerably. To obtain approval to develop the land, the plaintiff was required to set aside part of it as a froglet habitat!
The NSW Court of Appeal upheld a finding of nuisance against the council. But it disallowed damages for the loss in value of the land stemming from the requirement to have a froglet habitat. The Court decided that, while there was a causal connection between the council's conduct and the loss in value of the land, it was not reasonably foreseeable that a consequence of that conduct would be an increase in the Wallum froglet population.
Gales Holdings Pty Ltd v Tweed Shire Council
The legal requirement that loss or damage be reasonably foreseeable still has some teeth in non-personal injury cases.