Thursday 2 July 2009

Court orders demolition of extensions to seaside hut

A WOMAN’S development plans to turn a hut she calls home into a dream seaside residence lay in ruin yesterday after a judge told her to demolish extensions to the property.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard that Margaret Duffy had not sought planning permission to treble the size of the timber sheeted chalet among high amenity sand dunes in Donabate, Co Dublin.

Barrister Damian Keaney told the Circuit Civil Court that Fingal County Council had to obtain a court injunction before Ms Duffy told builders to cease construction on the chalet known as “Sandstorm”.

Richard Dunne, a Fingal County Council planning officer, said builders had reached roof level on major solid block extensions to the northern and southern aspects of the two-bedroom wooden chalet before work stopped.

Now Ms Duffy has to demolish both extensions as well as topple part of a 30 sq metre garage she had already built without planning permission and which she has to reduce in size by six sq metres.

Mr Keaney told the court the local authority was willing to meet Ms Duffy on site within the next fortnight to mark out what unauthorised developments had to be demolished.

He said the county council was agreeable to her being given a further four months to carry out the demolition works.

Ms Duffy, in an application for retention permission had claimed ownership of property at Walnut Park, Courtlands, Griffith Avenue, Dublin; an apartment in Turvey Villas, Donabate; an apartment at Loftus Court, Dublin and a property at Ballough, Lusk, Co Dublin. She gave her home address as “Sandstorm,” Balcarrick, Donabate, where she said she lived for more than seven years.

Mr Keaney told the court the local authority had refused retention permission, a decision which had been backed on appeal by An Bord Pleanála.

The unauthorised development had breached Fingal’s development plan.

Ms Duffy, described as a cashier with a cash and carry company, was supported in court by her husband, Stuart.

They both said Fingal County Council officials had proved unco-operative with attempts to sort matters out following initial court proceedings.

Irish Times

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