How land ownership rights have evolved
Before the twentieth century it was assumed a land owner’s rights extended from the centre of the earth to the top of the sky. But a series of key court cases have challenged that notion.
1931: US court rules that a sewer 150ft deep was not on land belonging to the home owner above.
1946: US Supreme court rules that transcontinental flights do not trespass on land below.
1978: High Court of England and Wales says aerial photography plane was not trespassing.
2010: UK Supreme Court rules that diagonal drilling down to 2,800ft from an adjacent plot of land is still trespassing under the surface.
Now in the Queens Speech, the law is proposed to be changed to state that drilling under someone’s property is not trespass.
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