Morrison says neighbours' claims left her 'deeply upset'
THE wife of singer Van Morrison was deeply upset at what she said was an attempt to "impugn my credibility" over claims she had agreed to the relocation of her neighbours' driveway entrance, the High Court heard yesterday.
Michelle Morrison "categorically denied" claims by an architect for her neighbours Mary and Desmond Kavanagh that she, at any stage, requested them to move the entrance to its current location because this would have meant further intrusion on her privacy at the front of her home at Kilross House, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin.
She made the assertions in a new sworn statement to the High Court on the fifth day of her action against Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council, claiming it failed to protect her privacy when dealing with planning permissions for the Kavanaghs' neighbouring 'Mount Alverno' home.
She says the Kavanaghs do not have a valid compliance with the planning permission order because, at the time it was submitted, work on the relocated driveway was unauthorised.
She also says the landscaping scheme, which related to tree planting at the rear of the two properties, was not in compliance with the permission order because it involved planting shrubs rather than trees.
In her new affidavit, Ms Morrison said she was "deeply upset" with what she said was an attempt by the Kavanaghs to "impugn my credibility" in the proceedings by suggesting she had requested them to relocate the entrance way. "I categorically deny this suggestion", she said.
The Kavanaghs had been aware for a lengthy period of time, through legal correspondence and through appeals to An Bord Pleanala against the planning applications, that she had "strenuously objected" to the relocation of the driveway, she said.
In submissions yesterday on behalf of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council, Mairead Coghlan said Bord Pleanala had referred the detail about tree planting to the local authority and it (the council) had dealt with that detail in accordance with the permission. This was effectively a neighbours' dispute and a lot of the arguments had already been dealt with by Bord Pleanala, Ms Coghlan said.
Ms Morrison had also not established a weighty enough argument to ground her application for leave to judicially review the council's decision over planning compliance, she said.
Earlier, the court heard there was strong dispute between architects for both sides over whether Ms Morrison gave permission for the relocation of the entrance and the removal of a tree which screened the front of the Morrison home.
In an affidavit from the Kavanaghs' architect, Trevor Dobbyn, he claims he obtained agreement from Ms Morrison's architect, Bryan Roe, about the relocation of the entrance way.
But in an unsworn statement supplied over the weekend, Mr Roe said he "strenuously disputes'' Mr Dobbyn's claims, and he was concerned that Mr Dobbyn had used an unagreed minute of a meeting of the two architects to justify his claims.
Mr Roe said he was confirming there was no agreement about the relocation.
Submissions on behalf of the Kavanaghs began yesterday afternoon and the hearing continues today.