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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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I have a neighbour who has to acquire sightlines over my front

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I have a neighbour who has to acquire sightlines over my front garden in order to comply with planning approval for his development. Is there a standard formula for restitution in the eyes of the law?
HI there I ill try and help. Could you explain your situation a little more, and what you hope to achieve?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Matt

A house that I own is adjacent to a development that is currently under construction. The developers have taken down the 2 metre fence (we erected the fence when we built our house in 2009) between us without our consent (allegedly it was hit by a visitor to their site).

Upon investigation I found the planning consent they are working to contains the following condition. "Prior to the commencement of development the access shall be constructed with the visibility splays of 2m x 43 metres and maintained at all times........".

The developer is clearly in breach of this condition as the visibility splays run across the front garden of the house that I own. Therefore they cannot guarantee their maintenance as I could erect a 2 metre fence across the visibility splay.

Prior to my contacting the developer I would be grateful if you could advise if there is a standard formula for restitution. I have heard that in the case of ransom strips on sites the restitution can be as much as a third of the development profit.


Paul Scammell

Hi PaulYou are correct that in the case of Stokes v Cambridge the Lands tribunal rules a 1/3rd approach, however this is only a precedent to the extent that the fact allows. Each case tends to turn on its merits, however it is a good starting point for negotiation/discussion. A decision would be in part based on to what percentage extent any development on your land would impact on visibility splay, and the position of the houses and loss of amenity in general from your land assuming you couldn't built. You need to make sure that there is nothing contained in your deeds that would prevent any building on your land, for example there are sometimes covenants not build in front of a "building line". As I said it is a standard adopted by the court where they consider the "fair" settlement however this not set in stone and the cases before the lands tribunal turn on their facts.
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