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Question: consider and discuss the following questionandnbspjulie owned an office block...

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Consider and discuss the following question:


Julie owned an office block in Penrith that the NSW Department of Big Roads (‘DBR’) wished to purchase. The DBR intended to demolish this block to enable the construction of a planned motorway. Negotiations had been underway for some weeks and numerous letters had been exchanged. On 5 February 2018 the DBR wrote a letter to Julie in the following terms:


I refer to your letter of 1 October 2017 and subsequent discussions between you and our departmental officers regarding the proposed purchase by the Department of your property at 8 Great Western Highway, Penrith. We confirm our verbal advice given to you by our Principal Surveyor, Mr Measure, that the Department is prepared to purchase your property being the whole of the land in Certificate of Title 1234 Folio 42 together with improvements thereon on the following terms and conditions:


a) purchase price of $5 million in full satisfaction of all considerations arising from the acquisition;


b) vacant possession of the premises is to be given on completion of the transfer;


c) the vendor is responsible for payment of the transfer and valuation fees.


It is noted that the Department's offer is in agreement with the valuation given to you by Honest Valuations Pty Ltd.


On 15 February 2018, Julie replied:


I refer to your letter of 5 February 2018 regarding the acquisition of my property at Penrith. I am pleased to advise you that I accept your purchase price of $5 million under the terms specified in your letter. I expect to be able to give you vacant possession by late June 2018, but I will advise you of the precise date in the near future. The matters concerning the transfer of ownership will be handled by my solicitors, Bloggs and Co, Long Street, Penrith.


On 9 March 2018, the DBR advised Julie that it no longer was interested in purchasing her land. Julie comes to you for legal advice as to whether the DBR are in breach of a contractual obligation to purchase her land.

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