Q&As

Can a security light shining onto someone's private land be classed as a private nuisance?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 11/08/2017

The following Property Disputes Q&A Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a security light shining onto someone's private land be classed as a private nuisance?

This response considers the principles of private nuisance, and whether a security light shining onto someone’s private land could constitute a private nuisance.

Private nuisance is an interference with the use or enjoyment of land, or of some right over or in connection with it. The nuisance is usually continuous, and is also indirect. It is distinct from trespass which involves a direct interference with someone’s right to exclusive possession of land. When determining whether there has been an impairment of the enjoyment of land, the governing principle is that of the ‘reasonable user’. If a claimant is being unusually sensitive to a petty annoyance that another person would disregard, they are unlikely to be successful. The Court will also take into account factors including the locality of the land, the extent and duration of the disturbance, any social value to what the defendant is doing, and the motivation of the defendant.

The claimant must usually prove damage, for example physical damage to

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