Sunday 20 June 2010

Judgment reserved in Morrison bid to protect privacy of home

THE HIGH Court has reserved judgment on an action by singer Van Morrison’s wife aimed at safeguarding the privacy of the couple’s home in Dalkey, Co Dublin.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna said he hoped to deliver judgment as soon as possible, but indicated he might be unable to do so until late this year.

An Bord Pleanála had stated it did not regard removal of trees as a development matter. “We do not accept there has been significant unauthorised removal of trees,” said Esmonde Keane SC, for Mary and Desmond Kavanagh, whose house neighbours the singer’s.

The judge yesterday heard final legal submissions in the six-day case in which Michelle Morrison is seeking leave to bring a judicial review challenge to a permission compliance notice issued by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to the Kavanaghs for redevelopment of their home, Mount Alverno, at Sorrento Road, Dalkey.

At the end of legal submissions yesterday, lawyers for both sides disputed a number of claims, including whether the Kavanagh home – described by Eamon Galligan SC, for Ms Morrison, as a 7,500sq ft “Celtic-tiger” type dwelling – was actually that size. Mr Galligan said it was 630sq m (6,778 sq ft), and while this was not exactly 7,500 sq ft, it was approximately that figure.

Mr Keane disputed Mr Galligan’s claims that the removal of certain trees at the Mount Alverno property amounted to significant unauthorised development.

Ms Morrison, who lives in neighbouring Kilross House, claims the permission is invalid, and that the council failed to protect her privacy through allowing the Kavanaghs to remove trees which she claims would have provided her home with maximum screening.

She has claimed that a proposal by her neighbours to plant shrubs instead would not have the same effect.

Ms Morrison claims the work at Mount Alverno has led to a loss of privacy at her home and she has no choice but to bring court proceedings because of the alleged failure of the planning authority.

She claims the council accepted compliance at a time when there were unauthorised works on the entrance to Mount Alverno, even though this was later rectified by another planning permission.

Irish Times

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