How we use Cookies

Let there be light

HAS anyone ever succeeded in objecting to the building of a house under the law of "Ancient Lights"?

HAS anyone ever succeeded in objecting to the building of a house under the law of "Ancient Lights"?

Planning permission has been granted by Surrey Heath Borough Council to Westbury Homes for the construction of ten houses on the former site of Barossa Allotments in Kings Ride, Camberley.

Nine out of ten houses are now under construction; the tenth house, to which I have objected, is still to be built.

This four-bedroom detached house is to be positioned next to mine, but set back so that the huge side wall will be less than two metres from my side fence, and will tower over my patio, my kitchen, living room and three back bedrooms.

My house was built in the early 1930s and up to now has enjoyed private unobstructed views and light to all back windows.

The law of "Ancient Lights" exists to prevent the building of a wall that will obstruct the light that windows have enjoyed for 20 years or more.

I quote: "If the party cannot enjoy the light in so free and ample a manner as he did before, he may sustain the action.

"When the right is clearly established, courts of equity will grant an injunction to restrain a party from building so near the plaintiff's house as to darken the windows.

"Planning permission does not override a right to light and, for a property developer, neighbouring rights to light can limit the height and position of the development."

Having brought this to the attention of the SHBC planning department, they visited my property but concluded that as the new house will be to the north of my patio it will not prejudice the amount of "sunlight" to my home and garden.

Is this correct? Can anyone enlighten me?

D Maunsell, Kings Ride, Camberley.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area