Miller v Jackson: CA 6 Apr 1977

The activities of a long established cricket club had been found to be a legal nuisance, because of the number of cricket balls landing in the gardens of neighbouring houses. An injunction had been granted to local householders who complained of cricket balls landing in their gardens. The defendant appealed.
Held: A factor to be taken into account was that the plaintiffs had purchased their properties knowing of the club. That could constitute the exceptional circumstances allowing the court to use its discretion not to award an injunction.
Lord Denning MR, dissenting, said: ‘In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last 70 years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short . . [y]et now after these 70 years a judge of the High Court has ordered that they must not play there anymore . . [h]e has done it at the instance of a newcomer who is no lover of cricket.
This newcomer has built . . a house on the edge of the cricket ground which four years ago was a field where cattle grazed. The animals did not mind the cricket.’ If the injunction were upheld, cricket would cease in the village and ‘the young men will turn to other things . .’ The public interest in the playing of cricket should prevail over the individual interests of the householders, and, instead of the injunction, he awarded andpound;400 for past and future inconvenience. He went on to answer with a resounding no his own rhetorical (in both senses of the word) question whether this was ‘all to be rendered useless to them by the thoughtless and selfish act of an estate developer in building right up to the edge of it?’
Geoffrey Lane LJ (with whom Cumming-Bruce LJ agreed) concluded that the claim in nuisance was made out. He accepted, albeit with some regret, that it was not for the Court of Appeal ‘to alter a rule which has stood for so long’, namely ‘that it is no answer to a claim in nuisance for the defendant to show that the plaintiff brought the trouble on his own head by building or coming to live in a house so close to the defendant’s premises that he would inevitably be affected by the defendant’s activities, where no one had been affected previously’

Geoffrey Lane, Cumming Bruce LJJ, Denning MR
[1977] 1 QB 966, [1977] 3 All ER 338, [1977] EWCA Civ 6
Chancery Amendment Act 1858 (Lord Cairns’ Act)
England and Wales
CitedImperial Gas Light and Coke Company v Broadbent HL 4-Aug-1859
If a Plaintiff applies for an injunction in respect of a violation of a common law right, and the existence of that right, or the fact of its violation is denied, he must establish his right at law, but having done that, he is, except under special . .
CitedRylands v Fletcher CEC 1865
Mr Fletcher’s Lancashire coal mine was flooded by the water from Mr Rylands’ mill reservoir in 1860-61.
Held: Mr Rylands was responsible. Blackburn J said: ‘We think that the true rule of law is, that the person who for his own purposes brings . .
CitedSturges v Bridgman CA 1879
The character of the neighbourhood in which the plaintiff lives should, for the law of nuisance, include established features: ‘whether anything is a nuisance or not is a question to be determined, not merely by an abstract consideration of the . .
CitedShelfer v City of London Electric Lighting Company, Meux’s Brewery Co v Same CA 1895
The plaintiff sought damages and an injunction for nuisance by noise and vibration which was causing structural injury to a public house.
Held: The court set out the rules for when a court should not grant an injunction for an infringement of . .
CitedBrowne v Flower 1911
With regard to the landlord’s covenant for quiet enjoyment, Parker J said: ‘to constitute a breach of such a covenant there must be some physical interference with the enjoyment of the demised premises, and that a mere interference with the comfort . .
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 . .
CitedBolton v Stone HL 10-May-1951
The plaintiff was injured by a prodigious and unprecedented hit of a cricket ball over a distance of 100 yards. He claimed damages in negligence.
Held: When looking at the duty of care the court should ask whether the risk was not so remote . .
CitedLatimer v AEC Limited HL 25-Jun-1953
The Appellant had recovered damages for injuries which he alleged had been the result of a failure on the part of the Respondents in their statutory duty to maintain one of the gangways in their works in an efficient state. He slipped on a factory . .
CitedOverseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) PC 18-Jan-1961
Foreseeability Standard to Establish Negligence
Complaint was made that oil had been discharged into Sydney Harbour causing damage. The court differentiated damage by fire from other types of physical damage to property for the purposes of liability in tort, saying ‘We have come back to the plain . .
CitedLetang v Cooper CA 15-Jun-1964
The plaintiff, injured in an accident, pleaded trespass to the person, which was not a breach of duty within the proviso to the section, in order to achieve the advantages of a six-year limitation period.
Held: Trespass is strictly speaking . .
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedWorld Wide Fund for Nature (Formerly World Wildlife Fund), World Wildlife Fund Incorporated v World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Incorporated – Intervener Jakks Pacific Llc CA 27-Mar-2003
. .
DoubtedKennaway v Thompson CA 30-Apr-1980
The plaintiff’s property adjoined the defendant’s boating lake over which the defendant had, over several years, come to run more and more motor boat sports events. The trial judge had found that the noise created by the racing was an actionable . .
CitedSmithkline Beecham Plc Glaxosmithkline UK Ltd and Another v Apotex Europe Ltd and others (No 2) CA 23-May-2006
The parties to the action had given cross undertakings to support the grant of an interim injunction. A third party subsequently applied to be joined, and now sought to take advantage of the cross undertakings to claim the losses incurred through . .
CitedVarious Claimants v The Catholic Child Welfare Society and Others CA 26-Oct-2010
Child sexual abuse was alleged by 150 claimants against staff members of a community home with teachers supplied by the defendants. The court had asked whether they had vicarious liability for the acts of their staff, and now whether the board of . .
CitedCoventry and Others v Lawrence and Another SC 26-Feb-2014
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Nuisance, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.180311