Nuisance in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Sedleigh-Denfield v O'Callaghan and Others
    • House of Lords
    • 24 Jun 1940

    A balance has to be maintained between the right of the occupier to do what he likes with his own, and the right of his neighbour not to be interfered with. It is impossible to give any precise or universal formula, but it may broadly be said that a useful test is perhaps what is reasonable according to the ordinary usages of mankind living in society, or more correctly in a particular society.

    But he may have taken over the nuisance, ready made as it were, when he acquired the property, or the nuisance may be due to a latent defect or to the act of a trespasser, or stranger. Then he is not liable unless he continued or adopted the nuisance, or, more accurately,did not without undue delay remedy it when he became aware of it, or with ordinary and reasonable care should have become aware of it.

  • Attorney General v PYA Quarries Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 15 Mar 1957

    I prefer to look to the reason of the thing and to any that a public nuisance is a nuisance which is so widespread in its reange or so indisoriminate in its effect that it would not be reasonable to expect one person to take proceedings on his own responsibility to put a stop to it, but that it should be tken on the rsponsibility of the community at large.

  • Allen v Gulf Oil Refining Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 29 Jan 1981

    It is now well settled that where Parliament by express direction or by necessary implication has authorised the construction and use of an undertaking or works, that carries with it an authority to do what is authorised with immunity from any action based on nuisance.

  • Manchester, Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Citizens of the City of v Farnworth
    • House of Lords
    • 28 Nov 1929

    When Parliament has authorised a certain thing to be made or done in a certain place, there can be no action for nuisance caused, by the making or doing of that thing if the nuisance is the inevitable result of the making or doing so authorised.

  • Wheeler v JJ Saunders Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 19 Dec 1995

    I can well see that in such a case the public interest must be allowed to and prevail that it would be inappropriate to grant an injunction (though whether that should preclude any award of damages in lieu is a question which may need further consideration). The Court should be slow to acquiesce in the extinction of private rights without compensation as a result of administrative decisions which cannot be appealed and are difficult to challenge.

  • Southport Corporation v Esso Petroleum Company Ltd (Inverpool.)
    • Court of Appeal
    • 03 Jun 1954

    In an aotion for a public nuisance, once the nuisance is proved and the defendant is shown to have caused it, then the legal burden is shifted on to the defendant to justify or excuse himself. If ho fails to do so, he is held liable, whereas in an action for negligence the legal burden in most cases remains throughout on the plaintiff. He must plead and prove a sufficient justification or excuse.

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