By Andrew Starke

The long-running legal stoush between listed pub owner ALE Property Group (ALE) and tenant Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) will continue later this year as the latter appeals a recent court ruling.

A dispute over the development rights to 5.8 acres of land attached to the Vale Hotel in the Melbourne suburb of Mulgrave began in the courts in February 2008.

The two companies had argued over the lease provisions for three years prior to this before ALH lost patience and took the matter to court.

The majority Woolworth’s-owned ALH is ALE’s tenant at the property and the group had hoped to develop vacant land at the site without its landlord’s consent.

The Victorian Supreme Court found in favour of ALE in December last year, contending that the tenant must provide details of any development as this could affect the pub’s valuation and the amount of rent it could charge.

On April 23, Justice Judd delivered judgment on and made orders reflecting the earlier ruling, including an order that ALH pay ALE’s costs.

It is these orders that ALH is appealing.

In a statement, ALE MD, Andrew Wilkinson, said the property group was confident that ALH’s appeal would be dismissed.

The appeal is expected to be heard in late 2010.

ALH and ALE were formed in 2003 after the Foster’s Group exited the hotel business, with ALE taking ownership of 105 hotels and ALH named group leaseholder.

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The Shout Team

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