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Will Chelsea Shine Bright Next Season?

Chelsea FC is one of the biggest clubs in the world and so it comes as no surprise that they want to expand. However, their Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich owner may have burned his bridges with neighbours and could even find his club left behind in the Dark (Ages)!

Chelsea’s problem is the Crosthwaite family who live directly opposite Stamford Bridge. The Crosthwaite’s have strongly opposed plans for the £1bn development of the stadium on the basis that it will seriously affect the amount of light coming into their home. They have lived in their West London cottage for 50 years and they are not backing down.

A right to light is a type of legal right called an easement.  An owner of a building (the Crosthwaites in this case) can acquire the right to maintain the level of light that comes into their property if they have enjoyed that amount of light for at least 20 years. Natural light inside homes and businesses is immensely important for many people and the legal system recognises this value.

People affected by right to light can sometimes stop a development from happening by obtaining an injunction or receive compensation for the loss of light which has resulted from the neighbouring development. In the case of the Crosthwaite’s, Chelsea have reportedly offered the family compensation understood to be a six-figure sum; but so far this has been rejected.  

Hammersmith and Fulham Council may yet come off the bench and win this match for Chelsea by compulsorily acquiring the Crosthwaite’s property but they can only do this where it is necessary to allow beneficial regeneration of the area.

This legal local derby will hopefully turn out to be enlightening!

If you have any enquiries about rights to light then please contact myself, Richard Glover directly (Senior Solicitor in Commercial Litigation) on 0161 828 1851

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