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Goode v Owen and Four Ashes Golf Centre Limited, Court of Appeal

14 January 2002
The issues

Nuisance – Golf.

The facts

The Claimant was a cattle and sheep farmer who had complained about golf balls landing within an area of his farm. It was found as a fact that something in the region of 1,000 balls fell on that area every year. Consequentially, the Judge found that this amounted to a nuisance. The Claimant argued that the golf balls made it impossible to mow the site with consequential loss of hay or silage. The Judge at first instance ordered that a 40 foot high fence be erected at the Defendant’s expense which would cost £60,000.00. The Defendant appealed the decision. A small part of the Claimant’s farm was affected. The area in question could have been fenced off or selective mowing could have been done which would have allowed the farmer to use the hay from the remainder of the land.

The decision

1. The escape of the golf balls did amount to a nuisance.

2. The nuisance affected however a small area. The Injunction was not justified.

3. The appropriate remedy would have been damages. The case would be remitted to the County Court for determination.

Appeal allowed in part.

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