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Tower block residents lose privacy case brought against Tate Modern


Interior of Tate Modern Switch House (Via Flickr/Alexander Svennson)

Residents of a block of flats which overlook the Tate Modern’s recently-built Switch House expansion have today lost a high court bid to attempt what they describe as a “restless” invasion of privacy.

The case, overseen by judge Mr Justice Mann, was brought to court by residents of the Neo Bankside development, which consists of a series of blocks ranging from 12 to 24 storeys in height. Residents had complained that the proximity to their homes to one of London’s biggest tourist attractions led to gallery visitors being able to peer directly into their living quarters.

Neo Bankside residents first took action against Tate Modern back in April 2017.

The Guardian reports, via a Press Association memo, that Tate’s board of trustees argued that those who lived in Neo Bankside and felt that their privacy was being invaded could “draw the blinds.”

It is the Switch House’s viewing platform – which offers gallery-goers superb views across the entire city – which has caused issues for the residents. Mr Justice Mann stated that Tate’s suggestion that the lowering of the solar-blinds that the flats in question are equipped with could offer a solution to the privacy-problem. Net curtains – so beloved of suburbanites in the 1980s – were also mentioned as a means to ensure that nosey parkers couldn’t grab themselves a slice of daily life in Neo Bankside.

The Press Association also suggests that residents and litigators at Forsters, the legal firm hired to fight their corner, are considering launching an appeal against Mr Justice Mann’s decision.