Remedy where breach of undertaking not to obstruct light

The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the County Court to grant a mandatory injunction, instead of damages, where a property owner erected a staircase that caused a minor infringement of a neighbour's right to light.

The court took into account that the owner had been high-handed and constructed the staircase in breach of undertakings that it had given. The neighbour had accepted the undertakings, instead of seeking interim relief from the court, and should not be in a worse position.

The case highlights that the court will take into account the conduct of developers as a whole, including whether they have given and breached undertakings, in deciding whether to grant an injunction or damages for the infringement of a right to light.

Ottercroft Ltd v Scandia Care Ltd