Godden v Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association: CA 15 Jan 1997

The Plaintiff was a building contractor; the Defendant a housing association engaged in developing suitable sites for residential accommodation for letting to tenants. Before the contract the parties had successfully completed what was been called the Trelewis Development which followed, it is said, an oral arrangement. The plaintiff appealed a striking out of his claim on the basis that there was no enforceable contract under the 1989 Act.
Held: The argument propounded would vitiate the 1989 Act. An estoppel should not be allowed to prevent the defendants arguing that no contract existed. In this case it would be inappropriate to allow an amendment to the pleadings in mid-appeal. Where all the obligations between the parties were integral to each other, part and parcel of a single scheme, section 2 applied to the transaction.
Discussing the Tootal Clothing case, Simon Brown LJ said: ‘However, nothing in that case – not even in Scott LJ’s judgment, which went further than those of the other members of the Court and further indeed than was necessary to the decision- to my mind support the Appellant’s claim to enforce any aspect of the present transaction, given (a) that no part of it whatsoever was in writing, and (b) central to the entire scheme was the ultimate transference of land from the Plaintiff to the Defendants.’
Simon Brown LJ
[1997] EWCA Civ 780, (1997) 74 P and CR D1
Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 2
England and Wales
CitedTootal Clothing Ltd v Guinea Properties Ltd CA 1992
By a single commercial transaction the parties agreed to the grant of a lease, on terms that Tootal (the intending lessee), would carry out shop-fitting works, have the benefit of a three months rent-free period during the which the works were to be . .
CitedDaulia Ltd v Four Millbank Nominees Ltd 1978
In a contract the Defendants promised certain properties to whoever first arrived with the requisite draft contract and bankers drafts. The Plaintiffs did.
Held: They failed in their claim. It involved a unilateral contract and the Defendants’ . .
CitedAmalgamated Investment and Property Co Ltd (in Liq) v Texas Commerce International Bank Ltd CA 1982
The court explained the nature of an estoppel by convention.
Lord Denning MR said: ‘The doctrine of estoppel is one of the most flexible and useful in the armoury of the law. But it has become overloaded with cases. That is why I have not gone . .

Cited by:
CitedEvans v James (Administratrix of the Estate of Thomas Hopkin Deceased) CA 5-Jul-1999
Before the parties called evidence, and having read the papers, the court considered that there was no real defence shown, and invited submissions. Negotiations for the grant of a tenancy had been terminated by the sudden illness of the proposed . .
CitedYaxley v Gotts and Another CA 24-Jun-1999
Oral Agreement Creating Proprietory Estoppel
The defendant offered to give to the Plaintiff, a builder, the ground floor of a property in return for converting the house, and then managing it. They were friends, and the oral offer was accepted. The property was then actually bought in the name . .
CitedBankers Trust Company v Namdar and Namdar CA 14-Feb-1997
The bank sought repayment of its loan and possession of the defendants’ property. The second defendant said that the charge had only her forged signature.
Held: Non-compliance with section 2 of the 1989 Act does not make a bargain illegal, and . .
CitedKilcarne Holdings Ltd v Targetfollow (Birmingham) Ltd, Targetfollow Group Ltd ChD 9-Nov-2004
The defendant entered into an agreement for lease, incurring substantial obligations. When it could not meet them it sought assistance from the claimant, who now claimed to have an interest in a joint venture. The draft documentation originally . .
CitedNorth Eastern Properties Ltd v Coleman and Another CA 19-Mar-2010
The appellants challenged specific performance orders obliging them to complete the purchase of apartments, saying that the contracts had not complied with the 1989 Act, and that their repudiation of the contracts had been accepted. The contracts . .
CitedIesini and Others v Westrip Holdings Ltd and Others ChD 16-Oct-2009
The claimants were shareholders in Westrip, accusing the Defendant directors of deliberately engaging in a course of conduct which has led to Westrip losing ownership and control of a very valuable mining licence and which, but for their . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 April 2021; Ref: scu.141176