12 Feb 2019 | Richard Waite | Architects’ Journal
Residents of the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners-designed Neo Bankside have lost their legal battle to force Tate Modern to shut part of a viewing platform on its Herzog & de Meuron extension.
Five residents of the building had taken the Tate to the High Court in an attempt to win an injunction preventing members of the public from peering into their flats, but the judge ruled that they had ‘created their own sensitivity’ by purchasing flats with floor-to-ceiling windows’.
The applicants had claimed their human rights were being breached due to ‘near constant surveillance’ from visitors to the neighbouring attraction who, they said, had looked into their flats through binoculars and posted photographs and film of their homes on social media.
According to the court papers: ‘The defendants’ use of … part of its viewing platform [was] unreasonably interfering with the claimants’ enjoyment of their flats, so as to be a nuisance.’
However Justice Mann today ruled against the residents and refused to grant them an injunction against the Tate.
It is understood the judge had accepted the behaviour of visitors on the viewing terrace could be classed as a ‘material intrusion’ into the residents’ privacy. He also found that in an ‘appropriate case’, the breach of privacy could have led to an actionable nuisance claim.
The tenants had created their own sensitivity by purchasing apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows
But in this case, Justice Mann said the tenants had created their own sensitivity by purchasing apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows. As a result, he found there was no nuisance.
Natasha Rees, partner and head of property litigation at legal firm Forsters, who acted for the five residents, said: ‘While we are pleased that the law of nuisance has been expanded permitting a breach of privacy to lead to a nuisance claim, we are extremely disappointed with today’s result.
‘The limited steps taken by the Tate to prevent visitors viewing into my clients’ apartments are ineffective and both my clients and their families will have to continue to live with this daily intrusion into their privacy.’
Rees said the residents were now considering whether to appeal.
In its original claim, the five residents of the 2015 Stirling Prize-shortlisted building had said Tate Modern could ‘easily’ have stopped ‘this invasion of the claimants’ privacy and home life … at little or no cost’.
The residents also said that the intense degree of visual scrutiny did ‘not provide a safe or satisfactory home environment for young children’.
Original Link: Neo Bankside residents lose case against Tate Modern