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Sturges v Bridgman [1879] 11 Ch D 852 Court of Appeal

The defendant ran a confectionary shop which operated a noisy pestle and mortar. It had done so for over 20 years but had no neighbouring property so there were no complaints as to its use. The claimant then built a consulting room for his practice as a physician adjacent to the defendant’s noisy shop. The claimant brought an action in nuisance to obtain an injunction to prevent the continuance of the noise. The defendant, relying on the Prescription Act, argued that he had obtained the right to be noisy by operating the noisy pestle for over twenty years.

Held:

The use of land prior to the construction of the consulting room was not preventable or actionable and therefore it was not capable of founding a prescription right.
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