Skip to main content

Return to Street on Torts 15e student resources

Chapter 17 Guidance on answering the end-of-chapter problem questions

Nuisance

The claimants here (Fred, Mary and Barney) appear to be home-owners, which means they each have title to sue: see Hunter v Canary Wharf. Suit will be against the owner-occupiers of premises from which nuisances emanate (Lippiatt v South Glos Council), these being Rollerama and the home-owners. In each case, the interference being complained of is with the amenity value of the land occupied (rather than being physical damage); whether there has been a substantial interference is a matter of fact and degree: Halsey v Esso Petroleum. None of the uses of land appear to be exceptionally sensitive: see Robinson v Kilvert. In those circumstances, the court would then look at various factors to see whether the interference which has occurred is unreasonable in nature, including: locality (Hirose Electrical v Peak Ingredients), noting here that planning permission – probably given to Rollerama – does not cut down on rights (Lawrence v Fen Tigers); frequency and duration (Barr v Biffa Waste); practicability of preventing or avoiding the interference (Leakey v National Trust) etc. One thing that will help establish the claim against Barney is that he is acting with malice by himself emulating the barking sound of the dog: see Christey v Davey. In each case, the damage appears to be of a foreseeable kind. No defences appear to be available. On the facts, Fred and Mary will be especially interested in an injunction, but such might not be awarded if the damage is calculable in money terms and will adequately compensate. Exemplary damages would not be available against Barney.