Tuesday 23 October 2018

Eimear Haughey can't build home near parents

Treacy HoganEnvironment Correspondent

EIMEAR Haughey has been refused planning permission for a new house near her father's mansion at Kinsealy.

She is to appeal Fingal County Council's rejection of her plan for a one-off dwelling just a few hundred metres from Abbeville, home of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey and his wife Maureen.

And she has suggested that, if the appeal to An Bord Pleanala succeeds, her parents may join her in the new house.

She says she wants to build it "for my own personal occupancy and possibly my elderly parents".

Abbeville has been bought by Manor Park Homes.

But the ailing former Taoiseach and Mrs Haughey are still living in the famous house.

It would be a short move for them to their daughter's new home off Baskin Lane, near the Malahide Road.

Eimear Haughey is president of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association and chairman of Goffs Bloostock Sales.

She runs the Abbeville and Meadow Court Stud.

Fingal County Council shot down her application for a one-off two-storey home in the scenic area, to be "sandwiched" between the country piles of her brothers Sean and Ciaran Haughey.

In a letter to An Bord Pleanala appealing the refusal, Ms Haughey, who runs a thriving horse stud business in the Curragh where she now lives, says she wants to move back to her home area to be near her parents and siblings.

The letter, obtained by the Irish Independent, says: "My parents are ageing and I wish to be near them and also close to my extended family."

The house plan was for a three-bedroom 390 square metre residence on a 3,950sq mt site at Abbeville.

The council threw out her application on the grounds that the site is zoned as a green belt, special conservation area, and Ms Haughey failed to demonstrate that the house is needed for a person "actively engaged in farming the family stud farm".

She also failed to demonstrate "a genuine need to live in a green-belt area".

The proposed development contravened the current Fingal development plan, and its entrance at Baskin Lane would crease "a serious traffic hazard".

The council planning officer said in his report that, while there was a small number of horses, "there was no evidence of an ongoing stud farm".

This is disputed by architects acting on behalf of Ms Haughey.

They have sent a letter outlining her bona fides as a person who should be allowed a one-off house under the new planning guidelines which have been introduced this year.

Ms Haughey says her site at Abbeville on the Baskin Road is between the houses of two of her brothers.

Her third brother has built a house on the far side of the property on the Feltrim Road.

"My parents live in the main house at Abbeville," says her letter.

In it, she takes issue with some of the findings of the planners.

There has been a stud farm in Abbeville under her control and management for the past 30 years, producing thoroughbreds and half-breds, she says.

"There are 27 loose boxes, a paddock and a large schooling barn. Most of the fields are stud-fenced.

In this respect, the report of the council inspector is inaccurate. I traded from 1974 to 1989 as Abbeville Stud and many successful racehorses were bred on the property, including Mister Majestic, a Newmarket Group 1 winner.

"In 1989, following my marriage, my husband and I bought another stud farm in Co Kildare called Meadow Court Stud but I continued to run both farms as one business and have continued to do to the current day.

"The turnover of my business would average approximately ?2,000,000 per annum."

She goes on to say there is endless evidence available that her registered business name is Abbeville and Meadow Court Studs, including all her audited accounts, as well as payments to the Collector General.

"Thoroughbred horses are very valuable animals and require a great deal of care and attention.

"As I have not been living on the farm at Abbeville, I have had to use Abbeville for horses that do not require intensive attention at a given time of the year."

As the number of horses at Meadow Court was increasing year by year, "it is of particular importance that I keep excess numbers at Abbeville.

"For the last 35 years I have been involved in the community of Kinsealy. My friends and family live there and it is where I call home," Ms Haughey says.

"I have reached a time in my life where I would like to be in a position to return home and that is why I would like to build a house for my own personal occupancy (and possibly my elderly parents) on this site."

Ms Haughey says she was advised that, under the new government guidelines, she qualified as someone entitled to build a residence for her own occupancy in an area zoned as green belt.

Abbeville was bought by Manor Park Homes for ?45m in 2003 for luxury housing.

However, Fingal County Council has scaled back the residential element of the plan to allow for more tourism-related development.

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