Tate’s neighbors win privacy appeal

Tate’s neighbors win privacy appeal

Tate’s neighbors win privacy appeal

Owners of luxury flats in London on Wednesday won a legal battle to force the adjacent Tate Modern gallery to stop visitors peeping into their homes from a public viewing platform.

The Supreme Court announced that by a majority of three to two judges had agreed their appeal due to “intense visual intrusion,” after they lost at earlier hearings.

The Tate Modern is a popular free gallery showing contemporary art in a former power station on the south bank of The River Thames. In 2016 it opened an extension called the Blavatnik Building which includes a viewing gallery on the top 10th floor.

Residents of residential block NEO Bankside found their mainly glass-walled flats to be just 34 meters (112 feet) away, and their interiors eyed and photographed by curious visitors.

Five flat owners took their fight to the courts, arguing that this amounted to a nuisance, and seeking an injunction requiring the Tate to prevent visitors from seeing their flats from the viewing platform or award damages.

They lost their case in 2019 and a further appeal in 2020, before victory at the Supreme Court.

In a 96-page judgement, judge George Leggatt said that hundreds of thousands per year could see into the flats, “much like being on display in a zoo.”He said a further High Court hearing would decide what remedial measures would be required from the Tate.

Tate Modern in a statement emailed to AFP thanked the court for “their careful consideration of this matter,” adding that because the case was going back to the High Court, “we cannot comment further.”

He judge said one of the flat owners no longer lived there and another had sold his lease.

The viewing platform is currently closed. In 2019, a British teenager threw a six-year-old French boy off it onto a fifth-floor balcony, causing life-changing injuries.

The residents lost their case in 2019 when a judge found that being overlooked did not amount to a nuisance, saying it was reasonable for Tate Modern to create the viewing gallery and the residents chose to live in flats with glass walls and could use curtains or blinds.

The residents then lost an appeal, when judges ruled again that being overlooked was not a nuisance.