Thursday 5 December 2019

Doctor couple fear their home will go up in flames court told

Ray Managh

A JUDGE has heard that two doctors feared their home, a protected structure under the planning laws, could go up in flames because of the activities of a neighbouring corporate events and road show promotions firm.

Dr Niamh O’Sullivan, who lives with her husband Dr Paul Byrne, at 73 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court that a fire at the next door premises of Verve Marketing Limited damaged their home.

She said the fire had been caused by quantities of flammable rubbish and cylinders which had been placed by Verve under the front door steps to its premises.

Barrister James Phillips, counsel for the doctors, said that despite the material having created a fire risk the staff of Verve, who occupy No 72, continued to store hazardous material under the steps which lead to the hall doors of both parties.

He said the couple were asking the court to restrain a “flagrant breach of planning laws” by Verve Marketing which was disturbing the lifestyle of the two doctors, particularly late at night and in the early hours of the mornings.

Mr Phillips said the couple alleged Verve was using its premises for activities other than strictly for standard office accommodation. Commercial trucks and vans pulled up in car parking spaces outside the couple’s home at weekends and outside office hours to unload or transfer materials.

He said that many employees or agents of the company engaged in late night and early morning promotions, including bands, also gathered in the car parking area.

The couple had objected to Dublin City Council about an alleged change of use of the premises in breach of planning regulations and, although turned down by the Council, they had won their case in an appeal to An Bord Pleanala.

Judge Linnane said she was satisfied that Verve Marketing Limited was operating in breach of the planning laws and granted the doctors an injunction restraining the use of the car park by commercial vehicles outside the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The judge, who awarded the doctors their legal costs, also banned the congregation in the car park outside those hours of staff or casual marketing or promotional employees or anyone else associated with the business activities of Verve Marketing.

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