Rights of Light Act 1959

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1959 c. 56


Rights of Light Act , 1959

(7 & 8 Eliz. 2.) CHAPTER 56

An Act to amend the law relating to rights of light, and for purposes connected therewith.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Temporary extension of period of prescription for acquisition of rights of light.

1 Temporary extension of period of prescription for acquisition of rights of light.

(1) For the purposes of any such proceedings as are mentioned in the next following subsection—

(a ) section three of the Prescription Act, 1832 (whereby the uninterrupted enjoyment of the access of light for twenty years may confer an absolute right thereto), and

(b ) section six of that Act (which provides that, in cases for which a period of prescription is defined by that Act, proof of enjoyment for a lesser period shall not raise any presumption in support of a claim),

shall have effect as if, in the said section three, for the words ‘twenty years’ there were substituted the words ‘twenty-seven years’.

(2) The said proceedings are—

(a ) proceedings in any action begun after the passing of this Act and before the first day of January, nineteen hundred and sixty-three;

(b ) proceedings in any action begun on or after the fourteenth day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-eight, but before the passing of this Act, except any such action which has been finally disposed of before the passing of this Act.

(3) The said sections three and six shall also have effect as mentioned in subsection (1) of this section for the purposes of any proceedings in any action begun on or after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and sixty-three, in so far as it falls to be determined in those proceedings whether—

(a ) a person is entitled to an absolute and indefeasible right to the access and use of light to and for a dwelling-house, workshop or other building, and

(b ) anything done or begun before the said first day of January (whether in pursuance of the following provisions of this Act or otherwise) constitutes, or if continued or completed would constitute, an infringement of that right.

(4) For the purposes of this section an action shall be taken to be finally disposed of on the earliest date by which the proceedings in the action have been determined and any time for appealing or further appealing has expired, except that, if the action is withdrawn or any appeal is abandoned, the action shall be taken to be finally disposed of on the date of the withdrawal or abandonment.

(5) In this section any reference to proceedings in an action includes a reference to any proceedings on or in consequence of an appeal from the decision in that action.

S-2 Registration of notice in lieu of obstruction of access of light.

2 Registration of notice in lieu of obstruction of access of light.

(1) For the purpose of preventing the access and use of light from being taken to be enjoyed without interruption, any person who is an owner of land (in this and the next following section referred to as ‘the servient land’) over which light passes to a dwelling-house, workshop or other building (in this and the next following section referred to as ‘the dominant building’) may apply to the local authority in whose area the dominant building is situated for the registration of a notice under this section.

(2) An application for the registration of a notice under this section shall be in the prescribed form and shall—

(a ) identify the servient land and the dominant building in the prescribed manner, and

(b ) state that the registration of a notice in pursuance of the application is intended to be equivalent to the obstruction of the access of light to the dominant building across the servient land which would be caused by the erection, in such position on the servient land as may be specified in the application, of an opaque structure of such dimensions (including, if the application so states, unlimited height) as may be so specified.

(3) Any such application shall be accompanied by one or other of the following certificates issued by the Lands Tribunal, that is to say,—

(a ) a certificate certifying that adequate notice of the proposed application has been given to all persons who, in the circumstances existing at the time when the certificate is issued, appear to the Lands Tribunal to be persons likely to be affected by the registration of a notice in pursuance of the application;

(b ) a certificate certifying that, in the opinion of the Lands Tribunal, the case is one of exceptional urgency, and that accordingly a notice should be registered forthwith as a temporary notice for such period as may be specified in the certificate.

(4) Where application is duly made to a local authority for the registration of a notice under this section, it shall be the duty of the proper officer of that authority to register the notice in the prescribed manner in the register of local land charges.

(5) Provision shall be made by rules under section three of the Lands Tribunal Act, 1949, for regulating proceedings before the Lands Tribunal with respect to the issue of certificates for the purposes of this section, and, subject to the approval of the Treasury, the fees chargeable in respect of those proceedings; and, without prejudice to the generality of subsection (6) of that section, any such rules made for the purposes of this section shall include provision—

(a ) for requiring applicants for certificates under paragraph (a ) of subsection (3) of this section to give such notices, whether by way of advertisement or otherwise, and to produce such documents and provide such information, as may be determined by or under the rules;

(b ) for determining the period to be specified in a certificate issued under paragraph (b ) of subsection (3) of this section; and

(c ) in connection with any certificate issued under the said paragraph (b ), for enabling a further certificate to be issued in accordance (subject to the necessary modifications) with paragraph (a ) of subsection (3) of this section.

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