Rights of light/Daylight Assessments

'Rights of light' and 'Daylight Assessments' are often confused and misunderstood.  The way in which these matters are addressed is fundamentally different, and usually the stage of the development process at which these matters are dealt with is also different.

'Daylight Assessments' usually also include an assessment of Sunlight and possibly also of overshadowing to any neighbouring properties, and the difference between Daylight and Sunlight is often not appreciated.

Daylight Assessments are typically included as part of a Planning Application and are prepared in accordance with the guidance set out by the Building Research Establishment.  The assessment calculates whether the level of daylight available to properties neighbouring the development will be sufficient, or if they will be affected to a noticeable extent.

Sometimes neighbouring owners will commission and submit a Daylight Assessment as part of an objection to a Planning Application.

A Right of light, also known as a Right to light, is an easement that gives one property owner a right over another.  As such it is a legal matter, entirely independent of the planning process.

The question of whether or not a proposed development will infringe another property owner's Right of light should be assessed at an early stage.  If a Right of light has been infringed, then an assessment will be required to determine whether or not the infringement is actionable.  Thereafter, the question of whether or not financial compensation or an alteration to the proposals is the appropriate solution will be a matter for negotiation between the property owners and their advisers, or may be decided by the courts.  An injunction preventing development is the ultimate remedy available to the neighbouring owner, but proceeding down that route can be a risky and costly course of action to follow.

Gould and Company provide initial advice during the early stages of a project, based upon experience and manual calculations that don't require costly 3D modelling.  When initial proposals are more developed, we provide a detailed assessment of the development impact using 3D modelling and specialist software.  This detailed assessment is prepared 'in-house', which ensures direct control over what is being assessed.

Finally, with regard to Rights of light, once the development impact has been calculated, we are able to prepare a valuation of the loss and deal with the negotiation process to the point of settlement.


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Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH16 1HE
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