Monday 27 March 2017

Morrison privacy case judge hoping for a 'quick decision'

Tim Healy

THE judge in a High Court action related to privacy for the Dublin home of singer Van Morrison and his wife said yesterday he hopes to give his decision "as quickly as possible".

Mr Justice Michael Hanna said he was reserving his judgment and hoped to deliver it quickly, but added: "The prospects of it being this side of the next law term (October) are pretty remote."

He was speaking after legal submissions in the six-day case which centred on Michelle Morrison's claims that Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council had not validly issued a notice of compliance with planning permission granted to her neighbours, Mary and Desmond Kavanagh, for the redevelopment of their home, 'Mount Alverno', Sorrento Road, Dalkey.

The case only relates to whether Ms Morrison should get permission to judicially review the council's decision.

Ms Morrison, who lives in neighbouring 'Kilross House', claimed the council failed to protect her privacy in dealing with the matter because it had allowed the Kavanaghs to remove trees -- which would have provided her home with screening -- and to propose putting in shrubs which would not have the same effect.

Reminder

The hearing broke for a day-and-a-half to allow discussions to take place and following a reminder from the judge that it was going to cost someone "an awful lot of money".

Talks were not successful and it resumed last Thursday and continued until yesterday.

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

She claimed 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.

The Kavanaghs argued Ms Morrison's case was characterised by "nit-picking" as shown by her complaint about the removal of trees on the far side of Mount Alverno which did not impinge on Kilross House at all.

Ms Morrison argued there was an important public policy issue over whether the council could accept a compliance notice when, at the time, the Kavanaghs carried out unauthorised development by relocating the entrance to their front driveway.

Irish Independent

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