It is unusual indeed to see a claim under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) brought as a result of a development, but recently a group of homeowners was successful in a claim based on the provision in Article 1 that guarantees the right to peaceful enjoyment of one’s possessions.
In this instance, the peaceful enjoyment was prevented by the construction of an access road that led to increased noise levels. The noise led to a diminution in value of the houses in the area, which the court agreed constituted an interference preventing peaceful enjoyment of them by their owners. The diminution in value, rather then the noise itself, was the key element in the claim, although it is arguable that a claim might have been possible under Article 8 of the ECHR, which guarantees the right to respect for private and family life and one’s home.
There is statutory provision under the Land Compensation Act 1973 for compensation in such cases. However, compensation is only payable when the road is adopted within three years of its being constructed. Delay in adoption beyond three years, therefore, can lead to a loss of the statutory right to compensation.
This case could have a significant impact on some developments. For advice on the relevant law and how it may apply to your particular circumstances, contact Clare Magill on 01752 292354