Discuss the Australian High Court’s Decision of Bellgrove V Eldridge

Discuss the Australian High Court’s Decision of Bellgrove V Eldridge
Assignment Task


Critically discuss the Australian High Court’s decision of Bellgrove v Eldridge (1954) 90 CLR 613.

In your answer, give due consideration to:

The facts of the case, the judicial reasoning and the decision of the Court

The legal principles and policy considerations at play. 


Discuss various methods of resolving disputes and why you would recommend various options.

How does the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) operate in relation to debt recovery.


Due to smaller blocks being able to be redeveloped and larger houses being constructed, the Encroachment of Buildings Act 1922 (NSW) has now become important for minor encroachments on adjoining properties. You have been asked to address the Master Builders Association of NSW on the following:

The rights and obligations under the Act; and

How compensation is determined under the Act?


Adam Eastham of East/West Builders Pty Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “the Builder”) was engaged by Amanda and Mitchell Peachey (hereafter referred to as “the Owners”) to quote on the construction of a six-bedroom house on?the Owners’ land at Lot 516, Cofton Court, Cambridge Park. The Builder and the Owners had a meeting on 19 March 2021 to discuss their requirements. 

The Owners said: “We have elderly parents who will be living with us and we require disabled toilets and wider doors for access“. 

The Builder said: “No problem this will be included“. 

The Owners paid the Builder $4,000.00 for the Builder’s draughtsman to prepare the plans, lodge them at Penrith City Council and obtain an approval. On 4 April 2021, the Owners had a meeting with Vince Wallington from Prestige Drafting.  

The Owners said: “We like the plans and they seem to incorporate everything we discussed with Adam“. 

Vince Wallington said: “Yes, I’ve incorporated everything you wanted“. 

The plans were lodged at Penrith City Council on 27 April 2021 and approved on 14 May 2021. On 16 May 2021, the Owners signed a Housing Industry Association New South Wales Residential Building Contract for New Dwellings at a Contract price of $395,000.00 and paid the Builder a deposit of $60,000.00. The Builder commenced work on the house on 2 June 2021.  

On 6 June 2021, the Owners requested the rumpus room be extended by 1.5 metres.  

Adam said: “No problem” and nothing else was discussed regarding the cost of the variation. 

On 15 June 2021, the Owners discovered the toilets were not disabled toilets and the doors were not wide enough for access by their parent’s wheelchair. The Builder has given the owners, a claim for the extra 1.5 metres in the rumpus room of $42,300.00 and a first progress payment claim of $63,000.00. 

 Advise Mr and Mrs Peachey of their rights.

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