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Opening the floodgates on water pumping claims

21 March 2016

In the case of Robert Lindley Ltd v East Riding of Yorkshire Council (reported in January this year), a farmer won a compensation claim in the Lands Tribunal for crop losses caused by the council pumping flood water away from the village of Burton Fleming.

The village suffered serious flooding between December 2012 and March 2013 and the council reacted by pumping water away from residential properties and into a water course which breached its banks next to the farming company’s fields. The farm suffered additional flooding and the company lost part of its carrot crop. It brought a successful claim for compensation under the Land Drainage Act 1991 but it would have also had rights under common law, trespass or nuisance.

This decision can be seen as a test case as there are allegedly a large number of other similar claims for damage due to the pumping of flood water. In this case, the sum may have been relatively modest but the issue and principle involved will have far-reaching effects in respect of other claims.

The question to consider is whether this case opens the floodgates to claims for compensation for damage to, for example, residential or commercial properties caused by pumping flood water.

Alasdair works in our commercial property team. He began his career with Nabarro LLP and joined us from Charles Russell LLP. He is a member of the Ethical Property Foundation. An experienced commercial property specialist, Alasdair deals with a wide range of work in relation to sales & acquisitions, development transactions, landlord and tenant and property management matters. 

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Alasdair Garbutt LLB (Hons)
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