Right to light casts shadow over Nelson's View

Residents in the Rosia Tanks area have taken the planned building of Nelson's View to court, in an effort to stop the construction taking place. asserting the right to light.
After exchanges of correspondence which started in early December, proceedings are now in court.
The claimants seek a declaration to the effect that the construction of Nelson's View at the old Rosia Tanks site will, if proceeded with, materially diminish the light coming through the windows of the claimants' houses at Rosia Cottages, and be a nuisance to them insofar as they will be deprived of their rightful enjoyment of their houses and cause them irreparable damage.
The claim is against the Attorney General "because the building complained of can only be built with the permission and approval of the Government of Gibraltar which has also previously granted the claimants the rights now asserted," says the claim form.
CLAIMANTS
The claimants are Steven and Monica Harrison; Southern Lighthouse Holdings Ltd; Harry Orfila and Gino and Silke Bossino. They are the lessees and occupiers of the houses known as Rosia Cottages.
The second schedule of each of the leases refer to the access and use of light and air to and for their houses through the windows.
The town planner Paul Origo said in December that Nelson's View was to be built 3 metres away from the boundary with the dominant tenements and that he had referred the question of 'lease and property' rights to the Government's land agents, Land Property Services Ltd.
Last month the managing director of LPS, A.E. Falero, wrote to the claimants solicitors Charles Gomez & Co: "I am instructed to inform you that Government is aware of the provisions in your clients' leases and that any grant to third parties will take account of such provisions."
Works on the demolition of Rosia Tanks began at the end of February as a prelude to the construction , with Government's permission, of Nelson's View, says the particulars of claim. Nelson's View cannot be built unless the Government provides its consent in its capacity as landlord of Rosia Tanks (as well as the authority in charge of granting planning and building permits).
REMEDY
The remedy sought by the claimants is a declaration that the construction of Nelson's View will, if proceeded with, materially diminish the light coming through the claimants' said windows, and be a nuisance to the claimants and each of them insofar as they will be deprived of their rightful enjoyment of their houses and cause them irreparable damage.
The second schedule of the leases, paragraph 2, refers to "all rights of shelter and support and all other easements rights and benefits of similar nature now enjoyed or intended to be enjoyed by the Premises including the right of light to all existing windows."
If the claimants win, the development could not be proceeded with as the building would be deemed to be illegal.
A ruling is said to be still in its early days.







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