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Progressing the rights to light debate: Part 3: judicial attitudes to current practice

Chynoweth, P 2009, 'Progressing the rights to light debate: Part 3: judicial attitudes to current practice' , Structural Survey, 27 (1) , p. 7.

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      Abstract

      Purpose – Aims to examine judicial attitudes to current surveying practice in rights to light disputes. Tests the assumption that the use of the Waldram methodology is endorsed by the courts and seeks to establish whether, despite its acknowledged limitations, its continued use can be justified on this basis. Design/methodology/approach – Analyses reported judgments. Findings – Neither the 50-50 rule, nor any other aspect of the Waldram methodology, has the status of a rule of law, or is otherwise approved of by the courts. On the contrary, the methodology has been the subject of judicial criticism. Although the courts frequently rely on the expert evidence presented to them, they have consistently expressed disquiet over aspects of the methodology. Particular concerns have been expressed over its inability to cater for the effects of sunlight and externally reflected light, on its dependence on internal room design, and on its failure to distinguish task illumination from general room lighting. There is also no indication that the judiciary are aware of the extent to which the Waldram threshold of adequate illuminance falls short of that prescribed by contemporary standards. The paper concludes that the courts' attitudes to the Waldram methodology cannot therefore justify its continued use by surveyors, either when acting in the capacity of expert witness, or when advising clients who may be contemplating litigation in a rights to light dispute. Research limitations/implications – Makes a further contribution to the debate, started in this journal in 2000, about the future of surveying practice in rights to light disputes. Practical implications – Places new information in the public domain which has implications for judges in future rights to light cases, and for the professional liability of surveyors when advising clients in contemplation of possible rights to light litigation. Originality/value – Presents the first comprehensive analysis of judicial attitudes to modern rights to light surveying practice since its introduction in the early part of the twentieth century.

      Item Type: Article
      Themes: Subjects / Themes > K Law > K Law (General)
      Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TH Building construction
      Built and Human Environment
      Subjects outside of the University Themes
      Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
      Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
      Journal or Publication Title: Structural Survey
      Publisher: Emerald
      Refereed: Yes
      ISSN: 0263-080X
      Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
      Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2010 12:00
      Last Modified: 06 Jun 2014 08:04
      URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/12464

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