Scarborough Window Tax

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Furrball

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He's not entitled to receive light laterally
Nationwide reports on a rather unusual form of taxation.

↗ Originally broadcast 30 March 1971
A short from the BBC on the "window tax" applied to Scarborough residents overlooking BR land

Now - I seem to recall a thread regarding a photo showing boards erected between railway land and houses but cannot find it.

Is this one and the same location?

The logic is actually perfectly sound. By the residents acknowledging that they did not have a right to light it allowed BR to construct on their land and block light without issue should they have ever wanted to.

Similar policies are applied to road and paths to prevent them becoming "continual use" - a good example being the road to Faslane which is closed for one day a year https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=A817
 
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I remember being at school and learning that a house was taxed based on the number of windows it had, so often in my town you would see painted on windows rather than the real thing.
 

Mcr Warrior

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I remember being at school and learning that a house was taxed based on the number of windows it had, so often in my town you would see painted on windows rather than the real thing.
The tax wasn't repealed until the early 1850's, if I rightly recall.
 

DelW

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That’s incredible. I remember that threat was a real mystery! Solved, surely.

I'm not sure if everyone spotted that the second video on that BBC page seems to cover wooden boards on poles, put up in much the same situation as that in Halifax which was the subject of the earlier thread:
 

WesternLancer

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You don't really see these boards any more (or do you?) so what happened? - did the right to light get expunged in some sort of planning law change, or did the reason to have the boards become redundant?

I liked the way the local MP went round to see the landowner in the hope they would 'see sense' and remove them but got sent away with a flea in his ear! Must have been an era when an MP felt they had enough powers of persuasion to sort it out without recourse to involving any sort of official body! Going off to see the Minister and suggesting the law be changed in parliament was not seemingly what he saw as part of his role....
 

DelW

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You don't really see these boards any more (or do you?) so what happened? - did the right to light get expunged in some sort of planning law change, or did the reason to have the boards become redundant?
Under the Rights of Light Act 1959, physical obstructions were no longer needed, as a registered "light obstruction notice" could serve the purpose instead.
 

WesternLancer

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Under the Rights of Light Act 1959, physical obstructions were no longer needed, as a registered "light obstruction notice" could serve the purpose instead.
Thanks - so that suggests to me that this is what BR were using in the clip ref Scarborough, but in the Bacton case the 'media reclusive' neighbour was unaware (or uncovinced of) the '59 legislative change and was retaining boards that her father had installed in 1915. I found the street on google maps today but it does not have a streetview image so maybe it is a private road (royal mail postcode finder found the house named in the clip in Bacton but I have not forgotten the postcode!) - aerial view implies there is no longer an empty plot on the street.

Makes me wonder how common these types of boards were pre 1959. Maybe some council planners gave more or less weight to the system pre 1959 and thus landowners in areas reacted differently.
 
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