Five things you need to know about development dust-ups from around the world

1 UK rights of light

Rights of light are a perennial issue when developing land in England and Wales. A typical development site will be surrounded by neighbouring buildings. If 20 years old or more, they can acquire a right to receive light over the site and obtain an injunction to prevent or demolish any new development interfering with that light. Neighbours can demand a share of the developers’ profits before allowing them to proceed.

Good news comes for developers in the form of recent court decisions suggesting that injunctions should not be awarded in all cases, with an important consideration being the public interest in the development proceeding. But engagement with neighbours remains key: deliberately ignoring rights of light and building anyway will make the courts more inclined to intervene.

2 US temporary access easements

Increased urbanisation presents wide-ranging challenges to developers. One noteworthy challenge is the inability to complete construction efforts without using neighbouring land. Developers faced with this challenge commonly request access easements allowing for temporary use of the neighbouring land.

A well-crafted temporary access easement agreement can be used as a tool to avoid, or diminish, potential development disputes. “Must-have” provisions include indemnification by…

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