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Rights of Light (RoL)

Waldrams specialises in providing early-stage, low-cost feasibility site appraisals

The unimpeded flow of natural light into buildings is paramount to ensuring adequate living and working conditions, not to mention the health benefits. Irrespective of the client – a family household or a large-scale development – natural light is a prerequisite for happiness and social wellbeing. The amount of natural light that a window lets in depends upon what is outside that window, and particularly upon the proximity of other buildings. A right to light easement permits a landowner the right to receive light through defined apertures in buildings, such as skylights and windows. Waldrams specialises in providing early-stage, low-cost feasibility site appraisals that highlight a site’s likely rights of light (RoL) issues and indicate a development’s approximate potential.

In England and Wales, RoL is a vital development consideration, as injury to neighbouring property where these rights are enjoyed could result in a court injunction to alter or even remove the development, despite it having gained planning permission. Therefore, developers are increasingly seeking strategic advice to understand the potential constraints of a site before seeking planning consent to understand entirely the financial implications of managing any potential RoL risk.

Understanding the law and prescribing a suitable remedy

The issue is a civil matter and differs from the daylight and sunlight calculations, which are required by local authorities in planning applications. Given the court’s ability to grant injunctive relief against injurious development, RoL should, therefore, be considered even if a scheme has received planning consent. A right of light is mostly acquired (as per the Prescription Act 1832) after light has been enjoyed via an aperture for an uninterrupted period of 20 years, although it is also possible for apertures to acquire a right of light via other methods, for example, transferred from a pre-existing building on a site if the windows are sufficiently coincident.

Waldrams uses its significant technical expertise to highlight a site’s likely RoL issues and to indicate a development’s approximate potential. Furthermore, our expert negotiation team has wide experience in resolving claims on significant schemes in London within predicted compensation budgets.

Specialised services refined by decades of project experience

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Waldrams is part of the RSK group of companies

The RSK group is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business offering bespoke end-to-end solutions to a variety of sectors. Headquartered in the UK but with an established presence throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, RSK helps organisations around the world achieve their business aspirations in a sustainable and efficient manner.