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Last edited 09 Feb 2020
In terms of the built environment, the term ‘view’ refers to a visual prospect of, or from, a structure or building. A view from a building is generally enabled by installing a window or other form of opening or external platform.
Having a ‘good view’ is typically seen as an desirable quality for buildings and is often one of the factors that affects its price. Equally, a ‘bad view’ can have a negative influence. This is one reason why in high-rise buildings, prices tend to increase the higher up a space is and so the better the view is perceived to be.
There is no right to a view in English law, as this would too broadly restrict the ability of other people to develop land. It is possible, however, to enter into a contract or licence with another land owner to agree that a view will not be obstructed, although payments and conditions may be attached. Alternatively, the parties could agree a restrictive covenant, obliging one party not to obstruct the view of the other. For more information, see Right to a view.
There are certain rights to light which may or may not be in alignment with a view.
In some places views can be protected by authorities. For example, in London there are certain views which are protected and cannot be obscured by new developments. For more information, see London View Management Framework.
The term ‘view’ might also relate to looking at or inspecting a property or land, i.e. a ‘viewing’, often with the purpose being to decide on purchasing, renting, or entering another form of contractual agreement.
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