Man gets reprieve to halt knocking of home
A FATHER OF TWO whose home is under threat of demolition has been given until next April to carry out major structural changes.
Joe Lynch deviated from the original planning permission when he built the two-storey house approximately 20m away from the original site at Carrickmore, St Johnston, Co Donegal, seven years ago.
The house, which was also found to have been in breach of other conditions of the planning permission, was the subject of a successful third-party appeal to An Bord Pleanala.
Since then, it has been the subject of two further appeals to An Bord Pleanala after retention permission was granted by Donegal Co Council, following extensive works carried out by Mr Lynch.
He must now reduce the height of the €200,000 house -- converting it from a two-storey to a dormer bungalow -- and carry out major drainage and landscaping works outside to avoid its demolition.
At Buncrana Circuit Court, Judge John O'Hagan was also shown a detailed drainage proposal put forward by the homeowner, who has agreed to fund his own Environmental Protection Agency survey.
"He is doing everything An Bord Pleanala is requiring him to do, which will probably cost him in excess of €30,000," said his barrister, Peter Nolan.
In 2008, Letterkenny Circuit Court granted a demolition order for the house, which the owner estimates has cost him in the region of €200,000, but a stay was granted on the order the following year.
Mr Lynch has contended that the reason the house was not built on the original site for which planning permission was granted close to the river Foyle, was because of the unsuitability of the ground.
The 45-year-old truck driver and potato seller acknowledged he was wrong to do what he did but insisted he was doing everything he could to try to resolve the situation.
At a sitting of Buncrana Circuit Court this week, Judge O'Hagan extended the stay to next April to allow further works on the house and site in accordance with An Bord Pleanala directions.
As well as lowering the height, Mr Lynch must address flooding issues for the purposes of percolation of water and waste and carry out major landscaping, so that the house is concealed from view.