Residents overlooked by Tate Modern lose ‘invasion of privacy’ case – The Guardian

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Residents overlooked by Tate Modern lose ‘invasion of privacy’ case – The Guardian

Owners of nearby flats went to high court to prevent visitors looking into their homes





The Switch House extension (right) of the Tate Modern and the adjacent Neo Bankside development.







The Switch House extension (right) of the Tate Modern and the adjacent Neo Bankside development.
Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Residents of flats overlooked by the Tate Modern have lost their high court bid to stop “hundreds of thousands of visitors” looking into their homes from the art gallery’s viewing platform.

The owners of four flats in the Neo Bankside development on the South Bank in London claim the use of the platform represents a “relentless” invasion of their privacy.

But the board of trustees of the Tate Gallery said the platform provided “a unique, free, 360-degree view of London” and argue that the claimants could simply “draw the blinds”.

Giving judgment in London on Tuesday, Mr Justice Mann dismissed the claim. He said: “I have rejected the claim in privacy and I have rejected the claim in nuisance.”

The five claimants sought an injunction requiring the gallery to prevent members of the public observing their flats by cordoning off parts of the platform or erecting screening.

At a hearing in November, their barrister, Tom Weekes QC, said the Tate was “operating a public viewing platform so as to encourage (hundreds of thousands of) visitors” to look into his clients’ homes.

But Guy Fetherstonhaugh QC, for the Tate, said the claimants were seeking “to force the defendant to close a valued resource, and deny to the public the right to use the viewing platform for its intended purpose, merely to give the claimants an unencumbered right to enjoy their own view”.

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