Residents in luxury Southbank flats sue Tate Modern over 'nosy tourists peering into windows from balcony'

Francesca Gillett
The luxury Neo Bankside flats: Shutterstock / Jose L Vilchez

Wealthy residents living along London’s Southbank are suing the Tate Modern over its public balcony which allows gallery-goers to look straight into their luxury apartments.

People living in the multi-million pound Neo Bankside flats threatened legal action last September after complaining that tourists were taking photos of the insides of their homes.

Upset residents claimed visitors to the Tate Modern were breaching their privacy by standing on the art gallery’s newly-built viewing platform and peering into their homes, taking photos and publishing the pictures online.

Five claimants are now suing the iconic Southbank gallery after claiming it is like “living in a goldfish bowl”, the Mail on Sunday reported.

A sign has been put up at the Tate viewing platform asking visitors to 'respect our neighbours' privacy'

According to a High Court writ, the five claimants argue that the Tate has rendered the residents “a public exhibit for the benefit of those using the viewing platform”.

The five claimants claim it is a breach of their human rights and are demanding the Tate erect a screen blocking the view into the flats and pay the residents’ legal costs.

The Switch House extension at Tate Modern (left) which has a terrace overlooking nearby luxury apartments (right). (PA)

The gallery’s 10th floor public balcony extension, the top floor of the new Switch House, was opened in June last year and boasts views of London’s skyline including across the River Thames, St Paul’s, Canary Wharf and the Wembley Stadium.

Neo Bankside, a four-storey glass-fronted block of flats, was built shortly before the Tate’s Switch House.

On review website TripAdvisor, web users reportedly described the viewing level as “a voyeur’s dream”.

A Tate spokesman told the Mail: “The design of the building has always included a high-level terrace for the benefit of the public but we cannot comment further given the conditions of the legal process.”

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