Sturges 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 thing itself, but in reference to its circumstances; what would be a nuisance in Belgrave Square would not necessarily be so in Bermondsey; and where a locality is devoted to a particular trade or manufacture carried on by the traders or manufacturers in a particular and established manner not constituting a public nuisance, Judges and juries would be justified in finding, and may be trusted to find, that the trade or manufacture so carried on in that locality is not a private and actionable wrong.’
If a man ‘temporarily licenses’ his neighbour’s enjoyment, that enjoyment is precario in terms of the civil law phrase ‘nec vi nec clam nec precario’. It is not a defence that the plaintiff came to the nuisance.

Thesiger LJ
[1879] 11 Ch D 852
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedDennis and Dennis v Ministry of Defence QBD 16-Apr-2003
The applicants owned a substantial property near an airbase. They complained that changes in the patterns of flying by the respondents were a nuisance and sought damages. Walcot Hall was subjected to very high noise levels from military aircraft. . .
AppliedMills and Another v Silver and others CA 6-Jul-1990
A farm’s only vehicular access was over land which was only useable occasionally when dry. The defendants laid a stone track to facilitate constant access. At first instance it was held that the earlier use had been too intermittent to allow a . .
CitedRegina v City of Sunderland ex parte Beresford HL 13-Nov-2003
Land had been used as a park for many years. The council land owner refused to register it as a common, saying that by maintaining the park it had indicated that the use was by consent and licence, and that prescription did not apply.
Held: . .
CitedLawrence and Another v Fen Tigers Ltd and Others QBD 4-Mar-2011
The claimants had complained that motor-cycle and other racing activities on neighbouring lands were a noise nuisance, but the court also considered that agents of the defendants had sought to intimidate the claimants into not pursuing their action. . .
CitedThornhill and Others v Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd and Another CA 29-Jul-2011
The appellants challenged a decision that the defendants had ceased to be committing an actionable nuisance after erecting a sound barrier between their metal scrap yard and the claimants’ properties.
Held: The judge had correcly applied the . .
CitedMerthyr Tydfil Car Auction Ltd v Thomas and Another CA 11-Jul-2013
The company appealed against an award of 9,000 pounds for nuisance in the form of excessive noise and fumes.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘the grant of planning permission cannot authorise the commission of a nuisance but it may, following its . .
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 . .
CitedMiller 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Nuisance, Land

Leading Case

Updated: 10 December 2021; Ref: scu.182120