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Minerva (Wandsworth) Ltd v. Greenland Ram (London) Ltd [2017] EWHC 1457 (Ch)

DATE: 23 Jun 2017

This 13 day trial concerned a claim brought by a SPV subsidiary of the developer Minerva against an SPV subsidiary of the Shanghai-based Greenland Group seeking c. £3.8million damages for an alleged breach of overage provisions contained in the contract for the £135m sale of the Wandsworth Ram development site in south-west London. The site already had planning permission for a large scale mixed use redevelopment including a 36-storey tower. The contract provided for Minerva to be paid an additional sum in the event that a new ‘enhanced planning permission’ was granted within a defined timescale and subject to various provisos.

The litigation involved disputes of fact and expert opinion relating to whether Minerva complied with its obligations (i) to provide and obtain Greenland’s approval of the proposed application for enhanced planning permission, (ii) to use reasonable endeavours to minimise the affordable housing contribution associated with the application and (iii) to ensure that the accompanying s.106 agreement was ‘proportionately no more onerous’ than the s.106 agreement associated with the existing planning permission.

David Elvin QC and Charles Banner appeared for the defendant, Greenland Ram (London) Ltd, instructed by Ashurst LLP.