Owners of luxury £2m flats overlooked by Tate Modern LOSE final legal bid to stop ‘hundreds of thousands’ of gallery visitors peering through their windows – after judge says they should simply ‘lower their blinds’

  • Owners of flats in Neo Bankside development took action over viewing platform 
  • Claimed privacy was being breached by visitors peering into flats from above
  • Judge today said residents could simply lower blinda to stop visitors looking in 

Owners of luxury £2million flats overlooked by a Tate Modern viewing gallery today lost their ‘invasion of privacy’ battle after a judge refused their bid to take the case to the Supreme Court and suggested they should simply ‘lower their blinds’. 

The owners of four flats in the Neo Bankside development on London’s South Bank took legal action in a bid to stop ‘hundreds of thousands of visitors’ looking into their homes from the Tate’s viewing platform.

They applied for an injunction requiring the gallery to prevent members of the public observing their flats by ‘cordoning off’ parts of the platform or ‘erecting screening’, to stop what they said was a ‘relentless’ invasion of their privacy.

Lindsay Urquhart arrives at the Court of appeal in central London yesterday to fight the High Court’s decision

Owners of multi-million pound flats (pictured right) overlooked by the Tate Modern (left) lost their High Court battle to stop ‘hundreds of thousands of visitors’ seeing directly into their homes when visiting its viewing platform 

But the board of trustees of the Tate Gallery argued that the platform provides ‘a unique, free, 360-degree view of London’ and said the claimants could simply ‘draw the blinds’.

In a ruling last February, the High Court accepted that ‘the complete glass walls of the living accommodation’ gave visitors to the viewing gallery a ‘complete (or largely complete) view’ into the flats.

But Mr Justice Mann dismissed the claim, and suggested the owners could ‘lower their solar blinds’ or ‘could install privacy film (or) net curtains’.

The judge added: ‘These properties are impressive, and no doubt there are great advantages to be enjoyed in such extensive glassed views, but that in effect comes at a price in terms of privacy.’

A photograph taken from the viewing platform in 2016 shows how visitors can see into the apartments at Neo Bankside (pictured, Mail on Sunday’s Charlotte Wallace showing how visible residents are)

The viewing gallery at the Tate Modern, from which visitors can peer into the Neo Bankside apartment block 

The viewing platform seems to give a perfect view of Neo Bankside apartments (pictured) 

In a ruling today, the Court of Appeal dismissed the owners’ challenge to that ruling.

Announcing the court’s decision, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton said: ‘The court has dismissed the appeal on the basis that overlooking does not fall within the tort of nuisance.’

The judge added that the flat owners’ application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court had been refused.

A photograph taken from the viewing platform shows how visitors can look directly into the flats at the Neo Bankside development on London’s South Bank 

The Tate Modern, with Neo Bankside apartments to the left of the art gallery in central London 

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