18 October 2023

Fearn and Others v The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery

The Supreme Court found in favour of five Neo Bankside residents earlier this year, holding that the viewing gallery at the Blavatnik Building at Tate Modern had created a nuisance by interfering with living conditions at their flats at Neo Bankside. The proceedings were remitted to the original trial judge in the High Court, Sir Anthony Mann, to determine the appropriate remedy.

Last month, having been asked to elect by the Court, the Tate chose not to argue that the Court should award damages instead of an injunction. The Tate has now agreed to a final order disposing of the proceedings which puts an end to the nuisance.

Tate Modern has undertaken not to operate Level 10 of the Blavatnik Building in such way that would enable visitors to engage in intrusive viewing or photography of neighbouring flats in the manner that was held by the Supreme Court in February to be a nuisance.

Currently, the Tate prevents that happening by preventing public access to the parts of the viewing gallery nearest to the flats of the five residents.

Natasha Rees, Senior Partner of law firm Forsters, which represented the five Neo Bankside residents, comments, “An award of damages was never our clients’ aim and they are grateful for the Tate’s recent willingness, instead, to agree that the viewing platform will not be operated in a way which causes nuisance. They are pleased that this long-running dispute has been concluded.”

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