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Sunlight to dash Apple's hopes for London store?

A "rights to light" law could scuttle Apple's chances of opening a new store in London.

The building in question.
The building in question. The Menolly Group

Apple reportedly has plans to open a new store in London, but the building's design might violate "rights to light" laws that could halt its development.

According to Reuters, the proposed building in London's financial district, if approved, will be 10 stories high and have 87,000 square feet of office space. However, it's 13,000 square feet of retail space that Apple is eyeing, according to Reuters, citing a source.

But before it can be built, the project will need to overcome laws that give neighboring properties the right to stop the development of buildings that will impede their ability to get enough sunlight. A report on the matter, posted on London's local authority Web site, claims 13 properties have the right to contest the construction of the building, but for now, eight property owners are expected to seek an injunction.

The rights to light laws are decidedly vague, which could cause some issues for both sides on the matter. However, from time to time, building owners do lose out. In fact, according to Reuters, last year a judge ordered that a building in Leeds be partially torn down due to a neighbor's complaint that it violated the sunlight law.

For its part, Apple hasn't confirmed that it's even planning to bring a store to the location. However, a building plan, obtained by ifoApplestore.com, shows the inside of an Apple store on one of its pages, seeming to indicate--without saying so--that Apple is looking to bring a store to the proposed development.

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The London building is the latest report on Apple's future retail plans. Earlier this year, CNN reported that Apple submitted plans to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board to build a new store in New York's Grand Central Terminal. If the deal is approved, Apple will pay $1.1 million in rent per year for 23,000 square feet. In addition, the company is apparently planning to build a store in Santa Monica, though it hasn't confirmed that it will, in fact, open a store there.

According to Reuters, London's transport and policy committees will vote on the right-to-light matter later this month.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.