Ellen is a graduate of The College of Alternative Medicine and is looking to begin her own business. She decides to open a meditation studio and looks around the inner city suburb of Paddington for appropriate premises. She finally finds a perfect terrace house close to Oxford St. (the main street). The owner of the premises is willing to enter a 12 month lease though Ellen asks him to wait for a week and hence she can check with the local council as to the appropriateness of her business. Ellen attends the council offices and goes to the counter marked “Business Inquiries”. She asks some problems of the council employee comprising a problem regarding building work in the area. She states “my meditation studio needs a calm environment is there anything which could cause noise nearby?” The council officer is called away prior to being able to answer. Whenever he returns he has a very rapid look at the computer and states to Ellen “relax everything will be fine”. Ellen signs the lease the next day though in 2 weeks of opening the meditation studio she sees builders arrive next door. She asks one of them how long they will be working next door. The builder replies “It’s a big job, a net renovation. It must take at least 6 months”. Ellen tries to run her meditation studio however the noise from the building is too worrying on Ellen and her clients. However a month to the building Ellen is so stressed that she develops a nervous disorder which threatens her career in alternative medicine.
Discuss whether Ellen has a claim against the council in association to the advice she received.
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