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

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.

Date: 01-Jan-1992
Judges: Buckley J
References: [1993] QB 343, [1992] 3 All ER 923, [1992] 3 WLR 449
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