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1 COLWYN BAY SEWAGE. MR HORTON'S ACTION. JUDGMENT IN FAVOUR OF THE COUNCIL. At the meeting of the Colwyn Bay Urba.n Council on Tuesday, the Chairman (Mr J. Ddcken) stated t-luat a telegram liave been received from London staling that in Mr Justice Bigham's Court a decision had been given in the CounciFs favour in the case of Mr Horton and themselves (hear, hear). He vas very sorry for Mr Horton (who was pre- sent), but he hoped that now bygones would be bygones, and that they would work for the future pleasantly together (hear, hear). Al- though they were all sorry for Mr Horton, they would have been more sorry if they, as a Council, had lost (hear, hear). The Clerk (Mr J. AmpMett) deserved a vote of thanks for the very able manner in which he had conducted, the case, as well as their counsel, Mr Hutchin- son. Mr Hammersley Heenan seconded the mo- tion, as he was always pleased when, anyone brought a fight to a successful issue. Mr E. H. Davies, in supporting, said that the decision was to the credit of the old members of the Conned 1. They were accused at the time of the election of being in a fighting humour, but that was not the case. One or two members would have thrown the rate- payers' money awiay, instead of saving it a* they had done by adhering to the sound advice of the Clerk (hear, hear). Mr W. Davies, as one who was in at the be- ginning of the action, said he hoped they would all be better friends for the future. He hoped it would be a lesson to others in the future not to fight the ratepayers without good cause. He felt that the Council were too lenient at the beginning of the negotiations. If they had been firmer at the start with Mr Horton, all the litigation might have been avoided. The vote of thanks was accorded without a, dissentient. Subsequently a telegram was received from Mr J. Herbert Roberts, M.P., chairman, and read out by the Clerk as follows —' 'Hearty j congratulations on the favourable judgment. Herbert Roberts." J THE JUDGMENT. I Mr Justice Bigham in delivering his judg- ment said the question he had to determine was whether the claimant was entitled to be paid the sum of J3758 12s 6d mentioned in para- graph 9 of the case. This sum was the as- certamed depreciation of the present value of the claimant's lands and property due to the contemplated user by the respondents of a. pumping station and reservoir wiiioh they had erected on their own land for sewage purposes. The answer to this question depended upon the construction to be put on section 308 of the Pu61ic Health Act, 1875, which provides as 1 follows: "Where any person sustains any damage by reason of the exercise of any of the powers of this Act in relation to any matter as to which he is not himself in default full compensation shall be made to such person by the local authority exercising such powers." The facts were fully set out in the case pre- pared by the ArOitrator. The pumiping station and reservoir had not been built upon land taken from the claimant, but these buildings and the sewers which the respondents had laid under the claimant's lands, connected together, formed one scheme of sewage. The B758 12s 6d did not cover any damages which may be caused to the claimant by nuisance or other legal tort arising out of the user of the build- ings in question. In cage such damages should arise, the claimant would be in the position to claim them by an action at law, whether he is now paid the JB758 12s 6d or not. It fol- lowed from these facts that the respondents had not committed any common law tort. by the mere erection of the building themselves as distinct from the sehvens. They had done TIO more than erect on their own land build- ings which they were entitled to put there, and which they may keep t,b(;fR until, if ever, they become an actionable "nuisance." A man may use his own land in whatever way he pluses, with this single limitation, namely, that he must not by the user violate any of his neighbours' legal rights. Thus he may put on his land a race course, a. graveyard, a slaugh- ter-house, jr a prison, and his neighbour can- not complain. Such things may cause very real depreciation in the value of his neigh- bours* land, but as they constitute no action- j able loss the sufferer moist submit to his mis- fortune. Jtut a man may not use his own land for a. purpose which creates a nuisance as by noise or sm^ll, nor may be put up buildings whach obstruct his neighbours' ancient lights: in such cases he violates the right of his neigh- bouT to the lawful enjoyment of his property, and makes himsolf liable to an action for damages, or for an injunction as the case may be Orderly crowds, mourning coaches, butchers' carts and prison vans passing a door are incidents which must be endured; but it ie different if a man by a noisy OT by an offen- sive business, or by the casting gloomy shadows seriously invades the actual physical enjoy- 1 ment of the land. Therefore, the sum of JB758 could not be recovered from the respondents in an action at common law if the claim to it; ■was based on the mere fact of the erection by the respondents of the pumping station and reservoir on their own land. Did it then. make any difference tnat thesa buildings are con- nected with the sewers laid under the claim- anlt's land, so a.s to constitute one system of sewage? He thought it did not. No doubt. but for the protection given by the Act of Parliament to the respondents, the laying by them of the pipes under claimant's lands would amoulnt to a trespass, for which damages at common law would be recoverable, but the question was whether in estimating such damages the depreciation caused by the anti- cipated user of the station a-nd reservoir ought to be taken into account. Sir Robert. Finlay, for the claimant, said it might, and he con- tended (quite protnerly) that if so it also comes within the meaning of the compensation clause in the Public Health Act. But he (Justice Bigliam) was of the opinion that such damages oould not be recovered in a common Jaw action. The Arbitrator had with the damage caused to the claimant's land by the trespass mentioned, and had awarded him i*t respect thereof the sum of J6871 10s. Wi-v should these damages be increased bv additional corn- pensation for acts done on the land which is not, and never ws-s, the claimant's, and which. if those acts stood alone, would have aifforded him no s-round for complaint? The mere cir- cumstance t,h .,t the -nines are brought into physical connection with the reservoir seemed to him to be quite immaterial, nor could it matter bhat the connection had had the effect of forming one system of sewage. The tres- nass bv the laying of the pipes was the ondy legal wroniff done, and for that the £871 10s was a.warded as sufficient. His Lordship then dealt with the points raised by the claimant, and said it seemed to him the .reasoning- did' not apply to the facts of the present case. The erection of the reservoir was not a necessary consenuence of the laving of the sewers, nor was it anything which phys-icallv affects the claimant's land at all. Therefore, he answered the oruestion submitted to him in favour of the public authority. The costs, he believed, were provider] for? Mr MacMorran (for the Council) They are provided for. I aseuime the costs here are provided for by the case. Mr Justice Bitrbam I think they are, but I am not sure. If they not, you are to have costs. Mr MacMeran If your Lordship pleases.








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