Non-derogation from grant: what was the common intention of the parties?

In Lyttelton Times Ltd v Warners Ltd ([1907] A.C. 476, PC) L ran a printing-house next to W’s hotel. An architect persuaded both of them that the printing house could be rebuilt so that W could have extra rooms for the hotel on the upper floors and L could keep an engine-house and printing machinery on the ground floor. They were persuaded that noise would not be a problem. In fact, it was and W sought an injunction limiting the use of the printing-house so as to reduce disturbance to his customers. W claimed that there was a derogation from grant. The Privy Council rejected this. Each party knew that both businesses were to be carried on. The implied common intention had to be determined in the light of the uses contemplated by the parties.

Lord Loreburn L.C. said:

‘If A. lets a plot to B., he may not act so as to frustrate the purpose for which in the contemplation of both parties the land was hired. So also if B takes a plot from A, he may not act so as to frustrate the purpose for which in the contemplation of both parties the adjoining plot remaining in A’s hands was destined.’ (at 481).

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