Rights of Light – What is it?

Shadowed room

With calls to build on the green belts and inner cities becoming increasingly built up – right to light law is becoming a serious issue for both developers and neighbours.

What is Right of light?

A Right to Light is a common law issue. Once a window on a property has been in place for more than 20 years, it acquires a right to light easement. This easement allows the owner to protect the sight of the sky from certain areas of the room behind the window. When a proposed development will block a standard percentage of light reaching the window and areas of the room, then the development may be infringing on the right to light easement owned by that property.

I’m a developer – do I need this?

The complications arising from rights of light matters can be significant. As a developer, you are at risk of losing time and money which cannot be recovered. Considering any potential rights of light infringements at acquisition stage can benefit your project and allow you to negotiate the purchase price.

I’m a home owner next to a potential development – what can I do?

As the owner of a rights of light easement you are entitled to see a specific amount of the sky from a certain percentage of the room. When an injury occurs, you should receive a remedy or compensation. This is a very specialist subject and we recommend engaging a right of light specialist to look after your interests.

Is it the same as a Daylight – Sunlight report?

No, a Daylight-Sunlight report is a specific assessment completed for developers to support a planning application. It reviews the natural light to either a proposed development or the impact the development has on the light to the neighbouring properties.

Usually the following is required:

  • Vertical Sky Component
  • Average Daylight Factor
  • No Sky Line
  • Room Depth
  • Annual Probable Sunlight Hours
  • Overshadowing to Gardens and Open Spaces

What is the typical cost?

We tailor each quote on a case by case basis, and provide two types of assessment.

An initial assessment will give you our professional opinion about your potential loss of light or impact of the development and is usually required before we can proceed to a full assessment.

A full right of light assessment will include 3D modelling and software analysis to provide an in-depth report. We effectively build your development and local environment on the computer, and then calculate the exact amount of light lost to the neighbouring properties.

Compensation – what’s the deal?

For us to know how much compensation should be awarded for loss of light requires a full right of light survey to be completed. We can calculate and negotiate the best compensation for you, so that you are happy to release your right of light easement. 

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