Developer used neighbour's garden as 'building site'
A developer used a neighbour's garden as an extended building site to facilitate the erection of a house on his own property, a judge said yesterday.
Judge Alan Mahon said neighbours Rose Snedker, an air hostess, and developer, Paul Coates, had an amicable and casual relationship regarding both their properties until 2006 when there had been "a very unpleasant altercation".
The judge in the Circuit Civil Court said that Mr Coates, of Carrig Nirvana, Killakee Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin, had, to his credit, admitted he had lost his temper on that occasion.
He said a dispute had arisen between Ms Snedker, of Brook Lodge, 250A Templeogue Road, Templeogue, Dublin, and Mr Coates, who in 2003 had bought the neighbouring property.
Both were cottage properties with narrow back gardens that ran 300 metres from Templeogue Road back to the River Dodder. Ms Snedker, who purchased her property in 1989, had built a new dormer bungalow home on her site a number of years before Mr Coates had bought the next-door property and obtained planning permission for a cottage extension and a new house and garage.
She told the court Mr Coates had trespassed on her property with machinery and building materials while she was away working and, without permission, had built a sewer pipe from his new property across and under her garden.
Judge Mahon told barrister Sean O Siothchain, counsel for Ms Snedker, that it was unfortunate both parties had not written down what had been agreed. What had taken place between them had happened over a number of years.
He was satisfied Mr Coates had agreed to replace a tree-lined hedge boundary with a two-metre-high wall and had failed to do so, and that he had not sufficiently restored Ms Snedker's garden following building works, on what was an extended building site during his construction work.
The judge directed that Mr Coates pay Ms Snedker €23,660 towards the erection of a two-metre wall, the proper restoration and planting of her garden boundary and for the cost of removing the sewer pipe Mr Coates had laid under her property.
He granted Cormac MacNamara, counsel for Mr Coates, liberty to apply to the court in relation to any aspect of the court's ruling and a stay pending consideration of an appeal to the High Court.