THE wealthy owner of an international-class cricket ground is challenging court-imposed restrictions on when and how it can be used.
Oak Hill Cricket Club, at Dunganstown in Co Wicklow, is a state-of-the-art facility built on the grounds of Springfield House, a large estate owned by Peter Savill.
The businessman has begun a High Court challenge to restrictions imposed last February by District Court Judge David Kennedy following complaints by his former neighbours Tim and Lesley Stevens.
The couple had complained about noise levels at the grounds and congregations of people outside their Springfield Cottage home, which is beside the club.
The restrictions limited to 60 the number of players, umpires and spectators that could attend the venue.
The judge ordered that the batting practice area on the grounds be moved and that the venue could only be used for 10 weekends a year.
He also restricted the number of hours that the pitch could be mowed and said that people attending matches could not congregate along the Stevens's boundary fence.
Mr and Mrs Stevens moved out from the house around 18 months ago, according to locals who spoke to the Irish Independent yesterday.
The cricket ground is located on Mr Savill's sprawling land, which also houses the Oak Hill Stud Farm. He unveiled the grounds in 2008.
Since then it has hosted the Irish men's cricket team and international teams from South Africa and Afghanistan.
It has also hosted Irish club matches.
Peter Broughton, counsel for Mr Savill, said his client fears the restrictions mean he will be unable to fulfil his obligations to Cricket Ireland.
He said that Mr Savill made a significant investment in the ground, consisting of a practice area, pavilion, car park and cricket field.
Mr Justice Michael Peart granted leave for Mr Savill to challenge the restrictions.
The next hearing has been scheduled for next month.