Published: Fri, 12 Oct 2018
Russell v Archdale  Ch 38
Property law – Restrictive covenants – Annexation of rights
A vendor company conveyed property which included barns and stables as part of the ‘Hedgerley Park estate’ to the defendant. The company also owned a neighbouring estate. There was a clause included in the transfer which required the purchaser to protect the adjoining land (which was owned by the vendor). The vendor subsequently sold a further piece of the estate to the plaintiffs who brought an action which questioned the restrictive covenants regarding the property.
The court established that this case was one of the construction of the conveyancing and the covenants listed within. The court looked to establish the definition of the ‘adjoining and neighbouring land’ referred to in the covenant and whether the phrase could annex the benefit of the covenant to the whole of the vendor’s land. If this could be found then the covenant could be enforced by the plaintiff. There was also a challenge brought on the basis that planning authority had been given for the development of the land which may breach the covenant listed in the conveyance.
The court held that the phrase ‘adjoining and neighbouring land’ would suffice to annex the benefit of the covenants to all of the land owned by the vendor company, at the time of the conveyance. However, the phrase was not sufficient to annex it to every part of the estate and therefore the plaintiffs could not enforce the covenant having acquired only part of the land. Lastly, the court found that the development of such land in the manner prescribed in the planning permission would also breach the covenant.
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