Monday 18 December 2017

Van Morrison's wife settles privacy dispute

Michelle Morrison leaving court
Michelle Morrison leaving court

Tim Healy

A legal action by the wife of singer Van Morrison, over alleged interference with privacy at her Dublin home as a result of works at a neighbour's house, has been settled.

The singer's wife, Michelle Morrison, got leave from the High Court in 2010 to challenge Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council's alleged failure to protect her family's privacy when it granted planning permission for works on a neighbour's house in Dalkey, Dublin. A full hearing has been pending.

Eamonn Galligan, counsel for Ms Morrison, nee Rocca, told High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns yesterday that following talks the case could be struck out. Both sides will pay their own legal bills.

Ms Morrison, of Kilross House, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, wanted the court to overturn the council's decision to accept that redevelopment work at Desmond and Mary Kavanagh's neighbouring home had complied with planning permission.

The council had denied her claims. The Kavanaghs were notice parties in the case and had also disputed her claims.

Ms Morrison had claimed that without proper landscaping – in particular, the replacement of trees – her home's rear garden was overlooked by the Kavanagh property.


She also claimed that before accepting the compliance notice, the council failed to take into account a number of unauthorised amendments to previous permissions granted for the Kavanagh property.

The property was previously described by Ms Morrison's counsel as a 7,500sq ft "Celtic Tiger-type house".

Without the replacement of a number of trees, a 'gangway-style' balcony in the Kavanaghs' home seriously overlooked the Morrisons' rear garden, while first-floor windows intruded on their privacy, it was claimed.

The Kavanaghs had proposed providing replacement screening with shrubs. Ms Morrison's experts argued that semi-mature canopy trees were required to match those that had been removed.

Ms Morrison claimed the council should not have accepted a compliance notice when the landscaping conditions, which had also been imposed in two previous planning permissions, had not been met.

A planning permission for the Kavanagh works was granted following a Bord Pleanala appeal in 2009. The following September the council accepted a submission from the Kavanaghs as to compliance with the planning permission.

Mr Justice Michael Hanna had at one point told the parties: "This case is going to cost somebody an awful lot of money."

Irish Independent

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