Holbeck Hall Hotel Ltd and Another v Scarborough Borough Council: CA 22 Feb 2000

Land owned by the defendant was below a cliff, at the top of which was the claimant’s hotel. The land slipped, and the hotel collapsed. Some landslip was foreseen from natural causes, but not to the extent of this occasion.
Held: The owner of a servient tenement was under a duty to take positive steps to provide support for a neighbour’s land. There was no difference in principle between the danger caused by loss of support and any other hazard or nuisance on the Defendant’s land, such as the encroachment of some obnoxious thing, which affected the Claimant’s use and enjoyment of his land. Where the question was not whether the Defendant had created the nuisance but whether he had adopted or continued it, there was no reason why different principles should apply to one kind of nuisance rather than another. In each case, liability only arose if there was negligence and the duty to abate the nuisance arose from the Defendant’s knowledge of the hazard which would affect his neighbour. The owner of the lower land would be liable where the condition was known, or deemed to be known, and the damage was reasonably foreseeable. Where however the damage was so extensive as not to be foreseeable, liability was not established.

Stuart-Smith LJ
Times 02-Mar-2000, Gazette 02-Mar-2000, Gazette 16-Mar-2000, [2000] QB 836, [2000] EWCA Civ 51, [2000] 2 All ER 705
England and Wales
Appeal fromHolbeck Hall Hotel Limited and English Rose Hotels (Yorkshire) Limited v Scarborough Borough Council QBD 2-Oct-1997
The occupier of land which was downhill of dominant land has the same obligation in nuisance and otherwise as the uphill neighbour. A right of support was included. . .

Cited by:
CitedDevon County Council v Webber and Another CA 19-Apr-2002
The respondent was owner of land. Occasional substantial storms washed quantities of surface soil over the road. The claimant highway authority served notices required part of the land not to be used for arable purposes. After a further storm the . .
CitedTransco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council HL 19-Nov-2003
Rylands does not apply to Statutory Works
The claimant laid a large gas main through an embankment. A large water supply pipe nearby broke, and very substantial volumes of water escaped, causing the embankment to slip, and the gas main to fracture.
Held: The rule in Rylands v Fletcher . .
CitedMarcic v Thames Water Utilities Limited HL 4-Dec-2003
The claimant’s house was regularly flooded by waters including also foul sewage from the respondent’s neighbouring premises. He sought damages and an injunction. The defendants sought to restrict the claimant to his statutory rights.
Held: The . .
CitedLMS International Ltd and others v Styrene Packaging and Insulation Ltd and others TCC 30-Sep-2005
The claimants sought damages after their premises were destroyed when a fire started in the defendants neighbouring premises which contained substantial volumes of styrofoam. They alleged this was an unnatural use of the land.
Held: To . .
CitedAnthony and others v The Coal Authority QBD 28-Jul-2005
The claimants lived adjacent to an old coal tip, which caught fire spontaneously and burned for three years. They claimed in nuisance. The defendant argued that the risk of spontaneous ombustion was not reasonable, and that the use was safe.
CitedLambert and Others v Barratt Homes Ltd (Manchester Division) and Another QBD 17-Feb-2009
The claimant sought damages in nuisance and negligence saying that in constructing a new housing estate, they had altered the land in such a way as to lead to the repeated flooding of their home.
Held: Both the developer and the council were . .
CitedLambert and Others v Barratt Homes Ltd and Another CA 16-Jun-2010
The claimants had bought houses from the first defendants, who in turn had bought the land from Rochdale, the second defendants. In preparing the land for construction the first defendants were said to have negligently filled in a drainage culvert . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Torts – Other, Nuisance

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.147084