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Hunslow London Borough Council V. Twickenham Garden Developments Notes

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Hunslow London Borough Council V. Twickenham Garden Developments Revision

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HUNSLOW LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL V. TWICKENHAM GARDEN DEVELOPMENTS FACTS The motion is brought by the plaintiff, the London Borough of Hounslow; I shall call it "the borough." The defendant is a company named "Twickenham Garden Developments Ltd.," a subsidiary of the Turriff Construction Corporation Ltd. The defendant company carries on the work of building contractors, and I shall call it "the contractor." The dispute arises over a building site in Hounslow of some 27 acres called the Ivybridge site; and on this site it is proposed to construct rather over 1,000 dwelling units, mostly in the form of flats and maisonettes, including four tall buildings. The land was formerly owned by the parent company, but by a contract dated November 17, 1964, that company agreed to sell it to the Borough of Heston and Isleworth (a predecessor of the borough) for £1,000,000, the purchaser giving the parent company a letter of intent under which the parent company was to carry out the development of the site. In the event, the borough entered into two separate contracts with the contractor, the first dated August 9, 1966, in respect of the substructure, and the second dated February 10, 1967, in respect of the superstructure. I shall refer to these contracts respectively as "the substructure contract" and "the superstructure contract. Dispute regarding the substructure contract: The issue before me arises out of the substructure contract, which continued in force despite the termination of the superstructure contract. With the end of the strike, the contractor resumed work on the site under the substructure contract at the beginning of July, 1969. However, this resumption, says the borough, was not sufficiently vigorous; and this is one of the main factual bones of contention. The performance of the substructure contract was affected to some extent by an "Instruction Order," numbered 245 and dated July 16, 1969, given to the contractor by the architect. Repudiation notice by the Borough: By a letter dated December 15, 1969, the architect purported to give notice bringing condition 25 (1) of the contract into operation. I shall call this the "borough's notice." The reply from the contractor's solicitors on January 20 said that there was no justification for the borough's notice, that it constituted a repudiation of the contract, and that the contractor would defer a decision whether or not to accept the repudiation. After some further correspondence, on February 9 the solicitors again wrote to the borough, saying that the contractor would not accept the repudiation of the contract and elected to proceed with the work in accordance with the contract.

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