‘Walkie Talkie’ office development produces concerns about rights of light. London property developers want protection from light blocking claims.
Land Securities and the Canary Wharf Group have requested that the City of London Corporation use powers to ensure that the ‘Walkie Talkie’ office development can go ahead. The corporation are to revue whether or not the completed building will violate any other building’s ‘rights of light’ and if this would result in any legal claims.
The development at 20 Fenchurch Street has already begun and is due to be completed in 2014. Right of light concerns another building’s light levels and whether or not a nearby building is affecting this. Each company has a right to a certain amount of natural lighting and tall skyscrapers can obviously affect this.
Concerns about rights of light have been pushed to the forefront after the Heaney case in Leeds. The company were forced to remove the top two floors from a just completed office development after a mandatory court injunction. This was because they the height of the building affected the right of light of a nearby office.
“Rights of light are a big issue after the Heaney case. The implication is that people could get an injunction and tear your building down,” commented James Abott, spokesman for the City of London Corporation.
The developers are concerned that upon the buildings completion there will be issues from neighbouring buildings.
“When we got planning consent on 20 Fenchurch Street in 2009, we did quite a lot on resolving rights of light matters, but the Heaney case has muddied the waters for all developers,” said Land Securities spokesman Donal McCabe.
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