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NEO Bankside residents appeal against Tate Modern ruling

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Residents of the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners-designed NEO Bankside scheme have appealed against a ruling which denied them an injunction to prevent museum visitors peering into their flats

Five residents of the development lost a High Court battle in February to force Tate Modern to close part of the viewing platform on its Herzog & de Meuron-designed extension.

In their nuisance action, launched in 2017, the residents claimed their human rights were being breached, due to ‘near-constant surveillance’ from visitors to the gallery who, they said, looked into their homes and posted photographs and films on social media.

Justice Mann refused to grant the injunction and ruled that the residents had ‘created their own sensitivity’ by purchasing flats with floor-to-ceiling windows.

‘It would be wrong to allow this self-induced incentive to gaze, and to infringe privacy, and self-induced exposure to the outside world, to create a liability in nuisance,’ the judgement said.

However the Court of Appeal has granted permission for the residents to appeal the judgement.

In its original claim, the residents of the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize-shortlisted building had said Tate Modern could ‘easily’ have stopped ‘this invasion of the claimants’ privacy and home life […] at little or no cost’.

The residents also said that the intense degree of visual scrutiny did ‘not provide a safe or satisfactory home environment for young children’.

According to the court papers: ‘The defendants’ use of […] part of its viewing platform [was] unreasonably interfering with the claimants’ enjoyment of their flats, so as to be a nuisance.’

Speaking about the residents’ appeal, solicitor Natasha Rees, partner and head of property litigation at legal firm Forsters, said: ‘The residents have been granted permission to appeal on the ground that the judge was wrong in law in deciding that the Tate was not liable in nuisance.

’The appeal hearing will take place in January next year.’

A spokesperson for the Tate said that ’At present [we] will not be commenting on its position in relation to this.’ 

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