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Fearn v The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery [2019] EWHC 246 (Ch)

Mr Justice Mann has dismissed a claim brought against Tate by the owners of four apartments in the Neo Bankside development, who claimed that Tate’s use of its viewing platform at Tate Modern interfered with their Article 8 rights and constituted a nuisance.

Guy Fetherstonhaugh QC and Elizabeth Fitzgerald, instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, successfully represented Tate, together with Aileen McColgan of 11 KBW.

The owners of four flats in South London, in a development known as “Neo Bankside”, brought claims in nuisance and for breach of s. 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, relating to Tate’s use of an exterior walkway around the perimeter of the adjacent 10th floor of the Blavatnik Building, part of the “Tate Modern” Gallery. The walkway is open to members of the public as a viewing platform and the owners of the flats complained that people could observe them inside their flats.

Mann J found that Tate was not a public authority and the flat owners therefore had no direct privacy claim under the Human Rights Act. The law of nuisance is capable, in an appropriate case, of operating to protect the privacy of a home against another land owner, but there was no actionable nuisance in this case. 

The full judgment is available here 

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