Chastey v Ackland: CA 1895

The two properties were in a terrace backing onto an area popularly used as a urinal. The defendant raised his wall by sixteen feet causing a stagnation of the air in the yard, making the other houses less healthy. The court at first instance granted an injunction against the new building.
Held: on appeal, that since the defendant was not the originator of the nuisance, the stagnation air caused by the new building was not actionable either as interference with an easement or as a nuisance. The injunction was discharged. A right to air from particular direction can be established by immemorial user, though not by prescription. Lindley LJ said: ‘speaking generally, apart from long enjoyment, or some grant or agreement, no one has a right to prevent his neighbour from building on his own land, although the consequence may be to diminish or alter the flow of air over it on to land adjoining. So to diminish a flow of air is not actionable as a nuisance.’


Lopes LJ, Lindley LJ


[1895] 2 Ch 389, [1895] 64 L J QB 523, [1895] 72 LT 845, [1895] 43 WR 627, [1895] 11 TLR 460, [1895] 39 Sol Jo 582


England and Wales


CitedBland v Moseley 1587
The court distinguished the elements of an easement of light and an easement of air. In the absence of an easement, a building may be erected so as to restrict the flow of air onto his neighbour’s land. . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromChastey v Ackland HL 22-Feb-1897
Immemorial user . .
CitedHunter and Others v Canary Wharf Ltd HL 25-Apr-1997
The claimant, in a representative action complained that the works involved in the erection of the Canary Wharf tower constituted a nuisance in that the works created substantial clouds of dust and the building blocked her TV signals, so as to limit . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Nuisance, Land

Updated: 25 November 2022; Ref: scu.195586