Surrey County Council v Bredero Homes Ltd: CA 7 Apr 1993

A local authority had sold surplus land to a developer and obtained a covenant that the developer would develop the land in accordance with an existing planning permission. The sole purpose of the local authority in imposing the covenant was to enable it to share in the planning gain if, as happened, planning permission was subsequently granted for the erection of a larger number of houses. The purpose was that the developer would have to apply and pay for a relaxation of the covenant if it wanted to build more houses. In breach of covenant the developer completed the development in accordance with the later planning permission, and the local authority brought a claim for damages.
Held: The erection of the larger number of houses in breach of the covenant had not caused any financial loss to the local authority. The Court refused to countenance the possibility of awarding restitutionary damages for breach of contract, giving reasons why such an award should be exceptional. Wrotham Park type damages were defensible only on the basis that they were restitutionary in nature. The judge had awarded nominal damages of pounds 2, and the Court of Appeal dismissed the local authority’s appeal.
Steyn LJ distinguished between a claimant’s ‘positive or expectation interest’ and his ‘negative’ interest which enables a claim to be made for ‘reliance’ losses.
Dillon, Steyn, Rose LJJ
[1993] 1 WLR 1361, [1993] 3 All ER 705, [1993] EWCA Civ 7, [1993] EWCA Civ 21, [1993] EGCS 77, [1993] 25 EG 141
Bailii, Bailii
England and Wales
Appeal fromSurrey County Council and Mole District Council v Bredero Homes Ltd ChD 1992
Land was agreed to be sold for development in accordance with an existing planning permission. Instead a later permission was obtained, and more houses were built. The plaintiff had not sought to restrain or prevent the breach, but now sought . .
ConsideredWrotham Park Estate Ltd v Parkside Homes Ltd ChD 1974
55 houses had been built by the defendant, knowingly in breach of a restrictive covenant, imposed for the benefit of an estate, and in the face of objections by the claimant.
Held: The restrictive covenant not to develop other than in . .
CitedPennard Dock Engineering Co Ltd v Pounds 1963
. .
CitedBracewell v Appleby ChD 1975
The defendant wrongly used and asserted a right of way over a private road to a house which he had built.
Held: To restrain the defendant from using the road would render the new house uninhabitable. The court refused an injunction on the . .
CitedTito v Waddell (No 2); Tito v Attorney General ChD 1977
Equity applies its doctrines to the substance, not the form, of transactions. In respect of the rule against self dealing for trustees ‘But of course equity looks beneath the surface, and applies its doctrines to cases where, although in form a . .
CitedJohnson v Agnew HL 1979
The seller had obtained a summary order for specific performance of a contract for the sale of land against the buyer.
Held: The breach was continuing and was still capable of being remedied by compliance with the order for specific . .

Cited by:
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The author had written his book in breach of his duty of confidence. Having signed the Official Secrets Act, he accepted a contractual private law duty. After conviction as a spy, the publication of the book was in breach of the undertaking by not . .
Not the last wordJaggard v Sawyer and Another CA 18-Jul-1994
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Held: The appeal failed.
CitedExperience Hendrix LLC v PPX Enterprises Inc and Another CA 20-Mar-2003
The claimant had obtained an interim injunction against the defendant for copyright infringement, though it could show no losses. It now sought additionally damages. The defendant argued that it could not have both.
Held: The case arose form . .
CitedFeakins and Another v Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Civ 1513) CA 9-Dec-2005
The department complained that the defendants had entered into a transaction with their farm at an undervalue so as to defeat its claim for recovery of sums due. The transaction used the grant of a tenancy by the first chargee.
Held: The . .
CitedWWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and Another v World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc CA 2-Apr-2007
The parties had disputed use of the initals WWF, with a compromise reached in 1994 allowing primary use by the Fund with restricted use by the Federation. The Federation now appealed an award of damages made after a finding of a breach of the . .
CitedHarris v Williams-Wynne ChD 11-Feb-2005
The parties agreed in sale agreement for a plot of land that the buyer would not erect any additional building. He did so, and when he came to try to sell it the original vendor objected. The purchaser’s solicitors registered the agreement for sale. . .
CitedOmak Maritime Ltd v Mamola Challenger Shipping Co Ltd ComC 4-Aug-2010
Lost Expenses as Damages for Contract Breach
The court was asked as to the basis in law of the principle allowing a contracting party to claim, as damages for breach, expenditure which has been wasted as a result of a breach. The charterer had been in breach of the contract but the owner had . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 January 2021; Ref: scu.180893