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Jones v Cleanthi [2007] 1 WLR 1604

DATE: 12 Dec 2006

A leading case on the extinguishment of easements. The issue was whether the service by a local authority of a notice under s.352 of the Housing Act 1985 requiring a fire wall to be built which, when erected, blocked a corridor had, by implication, extinguished a right of way along that corridor on the ground that the presence of the wall prevented the exercise of the right of way. The Court of appeal, overturning the judgment of Bell J ([2006] 1 All ER 1029, [2007] HLR 27, [2006] 1 EGLR 1), held that the right of way had not been extinguished. Due to the fact that an intention to take away a persons property without compensation should not be imputed to Parliament unless expressed in unequivocal terms, Part XI of the Housing Act 1985 did not impliedly authorise or require the expropriation of property rights. However, the fact that the wall was constructed pursuant to a statutory notice provided a defence to any action in nuisance or for breach of covenant.

Ton Weekes appeared with Tim Fancourt QC.