Friday 26 October 2007

Couple told to demolish part of dream home

A couple who went over the top in the design of their dream home have been told by a judge they will have to knock some of it or go to jail.

Interior and property designers Tom and Antoinette Darcy kept adding on bits for which they did not have planning permission, Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard in the Circuit Civil Court. On occasion they had been granted permission by the local authority to retain changes they made to officially agreed plans, but Fingal County Council dug in its heels when the Darcys literally went through the roof with things.

Now they have to demolish part of a glass atrium-style addition to the front of their new €3m home, Woodview, which has sea views from Grey's Lane, Howth, Co Dublin. They will also have to make changes to areas where they also overstepped planning permission at the back of the house.

When the couple came before Judge Linnane yesterday, facing imprisonment for contempt of court for having failed to carry out the changes months ago, she was told it would mean opening up the front and back of the house to the elements to bring the house in line with planning permission.

Judge Linnane said they had ignored orders from another Circuit Court Judge to fully comply with the planning permission and had failed to lodge sworn written evidence as to how they were going to set about making the changes.

Mr Damian Keaney, counsel for Fingal County Council, told the court the local authority was seeking to have the Darcys, who previously lived at Knightsbridge, Castle Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin, attached and committed to prison for contempt. The court was asked to consider the imposition of a severe financial penalty on the Darcys -- who are both designers who ran a company, Concept Homes Ltd. -- or sequestration of some of their assets.

Judge Linnane granted the Darcys another week before deciding what she will do with them.

Ray Managh
Irish Independent

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