Lambert 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 liable. It had been intended to provide a drainage gully. The first defendants had given representations that in making the alterations they would provide appropriate drainage, but had in fact constructed a fence in such a way as to restrict it. Though the use of land for housing was not a non-natural use, and the rule in Rylands v Fletcher did not apply, the original developer remained liable in nuisance and even if he had sold the land on. ‘Barratt was negligent in constructing the eastern boundary of its development in such a way as to restrict the natural flow of water from the south eastern corner of the retained land past the Springfield Road properties. It was reasonably foreseeable that the resulting restricted gap for the reasons I have given would not cope with the volume of water that could flow from the retained land, particularly after heavy rain; that the water would encroach into the claimants’ and other Springfield Road properties to the south of them; that damage would result. In my judgment, such encroachment resulted from an unreasonable use of the land which Barratt had purchased from Rochdale and constituted a nuisance the effects of which continue to the present and will continue until abated.’
Grenfell J
[2009] EWHC 744 (QB), [2009] 32 EG 70, [2009] Env LR D14
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHolbeck Hall Hotel Ltd and Another v Scarborough Borough Council CA 22-Feb-2000
hlbeck_ScarboroughCA2000
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 . .
CitedSedleigh-Denfield v O’Callaghan HL 24-Jun-1940
Occupier Responsible for Nuisance in adopting it
A trespasser laid a drain along a ditch on the defendant’s land. Later the defendants came to use the drain themselves. A grate was misplaced by them so that in a heavy rainstorm, it became clogged with leaves, and water flowed over into the . .
CitedArscott and others v Coal Authority and Another CA 13-Jul-2004
The defendant had deposited coal wastes. When the river Taff flooded, the spoil heaps diverted the floods to damage the claimants’ homes. They appealed refusal of their claims in nuisance. The judge applied the common enemy rule: ‘an owner or . .
CitedGoldman v Hargrave PC 13-Jun-1966
(Australia) In Western Australia, a red gum tree was struck by lightning and set on fire. The appellant had the tree cut down, but took no reasonable steps by spraying the fire with water to prevent the fire from spreading, believing that it would . .
CitedSedleigh-Denfield v O’Callaghan HL 24-Jun-1940
Occupier Responsible for Nuisance in adopting it
A trespasser laid a drain along a ditch on the defendant’s land. Later the defendants came to use the drain themselves. A grate was misplaced by them so that in a heavy rainstorm, it became clogged with leaves, and water flowed over into the . .
CitedPalmer and Another v Bowman and Another CA 27-Oct-1999
There is no easement of right for an owner of higher land for water naturally to drain off over neighbouring lower land, and nor was an easement required. The doctrine of lost modern grant need not be applied. Although the higher land owner had no . .
CitedGreen v The Right Honourable Lord Somerleyton and others CA 28-Feb-2003
green_somerleyton
The parties owned areas of marshland divided by a road. The claimant sought a declaration that the defendants had no right to allow floodwater to escape over his land from what he said was an artificial reservoir on the defendant’s land. The . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 February 2021; Ref: scu.375576