Coventry v Lawrence: more flexibility about awarding damages over injunction
By Robin Biela and Sarah Moore
Following a benchmark Supreme Court ruling (Coventry v Lawrence  UKSC 13), fewer injunctions can be expected to remedy infringements of property rights. While the case concerned a complaint about noise nuisance, the judgment is relevant to all property rights and in particular whether the court will award damages instead of an injunction where a developer infringes a neighbour’s right of light.
The case strongly criticises the recent tendency to mechanically apply existing principles and award an injunction rather than damages. Instead, the Supreme Court endorsed a more flexible approach when awarding a remedy. If the approach suggested by the Supreme Court is adopted in practice, it is likely that fewer injunctions will be granted and that damages will become a more common alternative remedy. This represents a departure from a severe judicial trend to award injunctions even when the loss suffered is slight and the impact on the wrongdoer is severe (HKRUK II (CHC) Ltd v Heaney  EWHC 2245 Ch).
Coventry was the lessee of a stadium near Lawrence’s house. Planning permission was granted for ‘speedway racing and associated facilities’ to Coventry’s predecessor in title in 1975. Stock-car racing began on Coventry’s land in 1984, which was not a permitted action under the 1975 planning permission. It was submitted by Coventry that these actions had become immune from planning control after 10 years of operation; however, the operations in the stadium created noise that could be heard by local residents…
Click on the link below to read the rest of the Nabarro briefing.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from The Lawyer
Analysis from The Lawyer
Nabarro senior partner and self-confessed “IT geek” Graham Stedman is heralding a major set of investments in technology ahead of the firm’s move to 125 London Wall this year.
Clients are more willing to bring claims against professional service providers but the risk to defendants is not as dramatic as it might seem