1) An Unreasonable use of land
2) leading to an indirect interference
3) with the use or enjoyment of land.
An unreasonable use of land
can consist of many factors:
- Locality - St Helens Smelting Co Tipping
- Duration of interference - Spicer v Smee
- The seriousness of interference - Helsey v Esso Petroleum
- The sensitivity of the claimant - Network Rail Infrastructure v Morris
- Malice shown by either party - Hollywood Silver Fox Farm v Emmet
- The state of the defendants land - Leakey v The National Trust
Leading to an indirect interference
The interference must not be direct; this would otherwise be under the tort of tresspass and not private nuisance
It must be indirect; e.g. fumes
With the use and enjoyment of land
some activities are beyond protection, as in Hunter v Canary Whalf.
Planning Permission - Wheeler v Saunders
Statutory Authority - Hammersmith Railway v Brand
Prescription - Sturges v Bridgmen
Volenti non fit injuria (consent) - Kiddle v City Business Properties
Public Policy - Miller v Jackson
May recover for physical loss, for depreciation in value and for business loss.
Common remedy is injunction.
Abatement (going into the defendants land to remove the nuisance)
Requirements for proving public nuisance
- substantial class of people affected by the nuisance - Attorney General v PYA Quarries Ltd
- to succeed, a claimant must be able to show special damage - Tate & Lyle industries Ltd v Greater London Council.
-special damage might include personal injury - Castle v St Augustine Links.
- Most commonly the tort involves use and abuse of the highway, for example a result of queues for which D is responsible - football match or theatre - Lyons v Gulliver
- It can apply to projections over the highway such as clocks, hoarding, signs and artificial structures
- condition of highway also, particulary as the local authority will usually have a duty to maintain the highway. Griffins v Liverpool Corporation - it was nuisance when a person tripped on a flagstone that was standing up half an inch.
Escape of Dangerous Things
1) A bringing onto the land accumulating
2) of a thing likely to cause mischief if it escapes
3) which amounts to a non-natural use of the land
4) and which does escape and causes damages.
First established in the Rylands v Fletcher case, strict liability tort.
A bringing onto the land accumulating
-it is possible for there to be an action in nuisance where the defendant is aware of the thing causing the nuisance and in effect done nothing about it - Leakey v The National Trust
Of which the thing is likely to cause mischief if it escapes
- not the escape that is likely but the mischief - Musgrove v Pandelis
which amounts to a non natural use of the land
- fire, electric wiring and domestic use of water are all regarded as natural, what isn't is the size, volume and quantity of it all. - Mason v Levy Auto Parts England
The thing must actually escape
- 'an escape from a place where the defendant has occupation or control over land to a place which is outside his occupation or control' - Read v J Lyons
Volenti non fit injuria (consent) - no liability if there was consent - Peters v Prince of Wales Theatre
Common benefit - no liability on a defendant when the source of the potential danger is something that is maintained for the benefit of both claimant and defendant - Dunne v North Western Gas Board.
Act of God - Nichols v Marsland
Statutory authority - Green v Chelsea Waterworks Co
Contributory Negligence - where the claimant is partly responsible, then damages may be reduced