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Watson v Croft Promo-Sport [2009] 3 All ER 249  Court of Appeal

The claimants live in close proximity to Croft Motor Circuit and brought an action in nuisance for the excessive noise generated by the defendants seeking an injunction to restrain the continuation of the nuisance and damages as compensation for its commission in the past. The former owners of the land had been granted planning permission to use it as a motor racing circuit in 1963. It was used as a motor racing circuit between 1963-1979. The land was sold in 1979 and there was no motor racing taking place between 1979 -1994. The defendant then acquired the land and restarted the motor racing on the land. The defendant defended on the grounds that the granting of planning permission had changed the nature and character of the area and the use for motor sport was therefore reasonable. The trial judge held that despite the planning permission the use of the land for motor sports was an actionable nuisance and the area was still essentially rural despite the planning permission. However, he refused to grant an injunction awarding damages in lieu. The defendant appealed against the finding of nuisance and the claimant appealed against the refusal of the injunction.

Held:

The defendant’s appeal was dismissed. The claimant’s appeal was allowed. Following Shelfer v City of London there must be exceptional circumstances before an injunction may be refused.
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