Gillingham Borough Council v Medway Dock Co (1992): public nuisance.

Areas of applicable law: Tort law – Nuisance  – Public nuisance:

Main arguments in this case: The court would take into consideration the characteristics and locality factors of a cause of public nuisance.

The fact of the case: Gillingham Borough Council granted planning permission to Medway dock company to redevelop and convert the Chatham Dockyard into a commercial port. The council was aware that doing so would influence the local surroundings and affect the area’s residents;  however the economic value the redevelopment would bring played a significant role in granting the permission.  Once developed the heavy traffic frequented the area around the clock and the council brought an action in public nuisance against the dock company on behalf of its residents

The court held that redeveloping the dockyard had significantly changed the area and therefore the traffic and noise pollution were now parts of it and therefore it was not a public nuisance.

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