Property company claims developer is in breach of agreement to sell Kildare land
Posted on 1st November 2021 at 20:27
A property company claims a developer is in breach of an agreement to sell a site with planning permission for 366 houses in Co Kildare, the Commercial Court has heard.
Killross Properties Ltd says that last April it agreed to buy the land at Capdoo, Clane, from Ardstone Homes Ltd for a total of €10 million, subject to the completion by Ardstone of a compulsory purchase order with Kildare County Council.
Ardstone says at all times it was made clear the sale of the property was on the basis of “subject to contract/contract denied”.
A booking deposit of €150,000 was paid to Ardstone in May.
However, the matter stalled and no contracts of sale were exchanged. In August, Ardstone told Killross it would not be proceeding with the deal and would return its deposit.
Killross contended there was a binding agreement and also claimed it had incurred cost in the development plan for the property. Ardstone says it has no knowledge of what those costs are.
Killross called on Ardstone to complete the sale and, when this did not happen, it issued High Court proceedings.
On Monday, Ardstone applied to have Killross’s case seeking specific performance of the contract admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court.
Mr Justice Denis McDonald admitted the case to the list on consent between the parties and adjourned it to February. He urged the parties to consider mediation of the dispute.
In an affidavit seeking admission of the case to the list, Ardstone director Stephen Cassidy denied there was any concluded agreement to sell. He said Killross lodged a “lis pendens”, which notifies an intending purchaser of a legal dispute about the property.
He said where there was no binding contract and it was expressly “subject to contract/contract denied”, there was no basis for the proceedings to be issued or for the registration of the lis pendens.
Mr Cassidy said Ardstone had identified an alternative purchaser and wished to proceed with that as soon as possible. There was some urgency in disposing of this case so it did not lose that purchaser, he said.
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