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Public Nuisance Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Tort Law Notes

This is an extract of our Public Nuisance document, which we sell as part of our GDL Tort Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Tort Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

PUBLIC NUISANCE

"...an act or omission which materially affects the reasonable comfort and convenience of life of a class of Her Majesty's subjects" (AG v PYA Quarries [1957])
Difference Public and Private:
o Public nuisance is a tort and a crime.
o Cannot sue for personal injury in private nuisance.
o Need not have a right in relation to land affected.
Who can sue:
o Individuals can only sue if they can show that they have suffered 'special damage' over and above the class of affected people.
 Tate & Lyle v GLC [1983] - build-up of silt caused by new ferry terminal built by D. Prevented Tate from using their jetty. Other users only suffered navigability issues.
 Lyons v Gulliver [1914]- theatre encouraged people to queue outside blocking entrance to tea shop which lost business. Others merely suffered inconvenience.
 Halsey v Esso Petroleum [1961] - living particularly close to the noise.
o Local authorities or the AG can sue in their own right to protect citizens of an area

NB can sue for multiple torts at once.
Requirements:
o 1) an act or omission…
 This is unreasonable interference: see private nuisance

2) …which materially affects the reasonable comfort and convenience of life…
 This includes any damage, but it must be more than trivial, including:
 Pure economic loss (Rose v Miles (1815))
 Personal injury
 Allowing pigeons to roost under a bridge
(Wandsworth LBC v Railtrack)
o 3) …of a class of Her Majesty's subjects"
 A group of people must be affected. The greater the number of people more likely it is a class of her majesty's subjects.
 R v Rimmington [2006] - sent 528 letters containing racially offensive material to multiple people.
 HoL held that these were 528 individual acts,
each one only affecting a single person.
 AG v Hastings - three or four households not a large enough class.

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