Right of light surveyor
A specialised area of a chartered surveyor’s role is dealing with the enjoyment of natural light in the built environment. Issues can arise as a result of a development that may interfere with the amount of light received through an opening benefiting from a right of light. The physical extent of the proposed development can be strongly influenced by the constraints imposed by the impact of such rights as determined by expert practitioners.
 Role of a right of light surveyor
The remit of a right of light surveyor often includes:
 Calculations and reports
A right of light is the right to a certain amount of light and not to all of the light that was once enjoyed. Surveyors use mathematical calculations to determine whether or not a development causes an infringement. For speed and accuracy rights to light calculations are undertaken using specialist computer software.
Rights of light reports will typically cover the following areas:
- Calculations to confirm whether or not rights of light are injured.
- Identification of injunction risks.
- Compensation valuations where risks identified.
- Advice on the appropriate strategy for dealing with rights of light risks
 Maximum envelopes and design advice
In order to maximise a site’s development potential, right of light surveyors can create a maximum envelope. A maximum envelope shows the largest 3 dimensional volume that can be built without impacting rights of light. The maximum envelope can therefore be used by architects and developers when working on development designs. However, it is often possible to go beyond the maximum envelope, providing an appropriate rights of light strategy is put in place. This may include reaching agreements with affected neighbours or putting insurance in place to cover potential claims.
 Compensation agreements
Where it is impractical to design around a right of light, it may be necessary for the surveyor to facilitate a compensation agreement between the affected parties. Once an agreement has been reached, this should be formalised with a deed.
In some cases it may be necessary to take out an insurance policy to cover the risk of a compensation claim or injunction. The right of light surveyor is often required to provide a report to the insurance underwriters on the risk levels associated with the development. Should a policy be implemented and a claim arise the right of light surveyor may be retained to assist with the handling of the claim.
 BRE Daylight and Sunlight for Planning
When deciding over planning applications local authorities will be guided by the tests laid out in the Building Research Establishment (BRE) document 'Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight', A guide to good practice, 2nd Edition.
Right of light surveyors are often engaged to provide design advice and reports to confirm that new developments meet planning requirements.
Reports are usually required to avoid any unreasonable effects on neighbouring properties. However, local authorities sometimes require a report to confirm adequate light levels within the proposed development itself.
This article was written by --User:Right_of_Light_Consulting.
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.
Sir Oliver Letwin to lead an independent review into the delays in the delivery of housing.
As Carillion collapses, read our article explaining insolvency in the construction industry.
43,000 jobs at risk as Carillion declares insolvency..
1961 saw the publication of three important books about urban design that remain relevant today.
Next week the planning fee increases by 20% and new fees are introduced.
How the transformative power of BIM and other digital technologies can be used to gain a competitive edge.