Gillingham Borough Council -v- Medway (Chatham) Dock Co Ltd; 1992

References: [1993] QB 343, [1992] 3 All ER 923, [1992] 3 WLR 449
Coram: Buckley J
The grant of planning permission does not of itself sanction or otherwise endorse an activity which is causing a nuisance to neighbouring properties. Buckley J said: ‘If a planning authority grants permission for a particular construction or use in its area it is almost certain that some local inhabitants will be prejudiced in the quiet enjoyment of their properties. Can they defeat the scheme simply by bringing an action in nuisance? If not, why not? It has been said, no doubt correctly, that planning permission is not a licence to commit nuisance and that a planning authority has no jurisdiction to authorise nuisance.’
However, in this case, the grant of planning permission had altered the character of the neighbourhood, and the statutory framework envisaged that a local planning authority would, when considering whether or not to grant planning permission, balance the interests of the community against those of individuals.
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Watson and others -v- Croft Promo-Sport Ltd CA (Bailii, [2009] EWCA Civ 15, [2009] NPC 15, [2009] 18 EG 86, [2009] 3 All ER 249)
    The claimants were neighbours of the Croft motor racing circuit. They alleged nuisance in the levels of noise emanating from the site. The defendants denied nuisance saying that the interference was deemed reasonable since they operated within the . .
  • Cited – Coventry and Others -v- Lawrence and Another SC (Bailii, [2014] UKSC 13, [2014] 2 P &CR 2, [2014] 2 All ER 622, [2014] BLR 271, [2014] HLR 21, [2014] Env LR 25, [2014] 1 AC 822, 152 Con LR 1, [2014] 2 WLR 433, [2014] PTSR 384, Bailii Summary, UKSC 2012/0076, SC Summary, SC)
    C operated a motor racing circuit as tenant. The neighbour L objected that the noise emitted by the operations were a nuisance. C replied that the fact of his having planning consent meant that it was not a nuisance.
    Held: The neighbour’s . .
  • Cited – Coventry and Others -v- Lawrence and Another SC (Bailii, [2014] UKSC 13, [2014] 2 P &CR 2, [2014] 2 All ER 622, [2014] BLR 271, [2014] HLR 21, [2014] Env LR 25, [2014] 1 AC 822, 152 Con LR 1, [2014] 2 WLR 433, [2014] PTSR 384, Bailii Summary, UKSC 2012/0076, SC Summary, SC)
    C operated a motor racing circuit as tenant. The neighbour L objected that the noise emitted by the operations were a nuisance. C replied that the fact of his having planning consent meant that it was not a nuisance.
    Held: The neighbour’s . .

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