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AG v PYA Quarries

[1957] 2 QB 169

Case summary last updated at 19/01/2020 17:42 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case AG v PYA Quarries

 D owned a mining that caused noise and dust pollution to a section of the public, and tried to argue that since it only affected a section of her majesty’s subjects, not her subjects as a whole, it couldn’t be a public nuisance. CA rejected this, saying any nuisance which materially affected the reasonable comfort and convenience of life of a class of Her Majesty's subjects was a public nuisance. Whether the no. citizens affected was enough to constitute a class depends on the facts of each case. An injunction was granted. 
 
Denning LJ: To see if it is a public nuisance, we should look at the reason of the thing and to say that a nuisance is a public nuisance which is so widespread in its range or so indiscriminate in its effect that it would not be reasonable to expect one person to take proceedings on his own responsibility to put a stop to it, but that it should be taken on the responsibility of the community at large. E.g. blocking up a public footpath that is only used by a couple of people: still a public nuisance since it is indiscriminate against those who may wish to walk along it. Another example is a landowner who “permits gypsies with filthy habits to encamp in a residential neighbourhood”. 
 
Romer LJ: It does not have to be shown that all members of the class have been affected: it is enough that a representative cross section of the class has been affected. 

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