The case of Scott v Aimiuwu (2015) will be of interest to developers and homeowners.


Mr and Mrs Aimiuwu own a property which they extended. The next door neighbours, Mr and Mrs Scott, made a claim arguing that the new development interfered with the passage of light into windows of their property. The Aimiuwus continued with the development regardless of the complaints.

Mr and Mrs Scott sought an injunction at trial requiring the Aimiuwus to reduce the extension by a substantial amount but did not seek an emergency injunction at the outset to stop the works from happening.

The Court declined to grant an injunction but awarded damages of £31,499 based upon the following reasoning:-

• The interference in light was only to secondary accommodation i.e. a garage/workshop and utility room and bathroom (the position would be different if dealing with a living room and bedroom).

• An injunction requiring demolition works to a house would be oppressive and punitive.

• The Scotts could be adequately compensated by an award of damages.

• There is no rule of law that every room has to enjoy 50% of light. It could be less or more, depending on all the circumstances.

• Damages should be based on what reasonable parties would have negotiated to settle the matter at an early stage.

Developers should be aware that they need not share profits with an adjoining owner affected by right to light issues. Home owners should be aware that they must make urgent applications for injunctions to prevent building works otherwise, they will be left with compensation as a remedy which may not be adequate in all cases.

Michael Davies is a senior associate in the dispute resolution team in Exeter and is a specialist in property and land disputes. To contact Michael, please call 01392 210700 or email