Limerick construction firm fined for breach of planning conditions

Limerick construction firm fined for breach of planning conditions

Tom Crosse of auctioneers GVM outside one of the homes being sold in the Churchfield estate

A Limerick construction company was fined almost €2,000 after it admitted breaching several planning conditions at a housing estate it built in Clonlara.

Lisnagry-based Mourne View Properties was prosecuted by Clare County Council in relation to the Churchfields housing estate, which remains unfinished.

At one point during the boom, houses in the estate sold for more than €300,000.

At Limerick Court, solicitor Rachael Dobson, representing Clare County Council said the matter first came to light in August 2011.

Planning inspector, Leonard McDonagh said enforcement proceedings were initiated by the local authority but that several issues remain outstanding.

He said the 85-house development had not been constructed in accordance with the plans and that the road surface has not been properly finished.

He added that the public lighting is “not operational”.

Mr McDonagh said there are also “outstanding issues” in relation to property boundaries within the estate.

At Limerick Court, Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told that nine inspections have been carried out since August 2011 and that, as of last week, the works had not been completed.

Mr McDonagh said manhole covers and water gullys are protruding above the road surface by between two and three inches and that this presents a danger to vehicles and people walking in the estate.

The directors of the company Martin and Mary McGivern were not present in court and a solicitor representing Mourne View Properties said his client was “not in a position to do the works” as it could not afford to pay for them.

Last year, the Churchfields estate was included in the NAMA-backed 80:20 scheme which was launched to facilitate first time buyers and other owner occupiers who wish to purchase a home and to encourage activity in the housing market.

Speaking at the time, Martin McGivern said the estate had been included in the scheme because it was so far advanced.

“There is no hoarding up, it is all landscaped, roads, sewerage completed and the estate is finished to a very high standard,” he said.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told a formal court order compelling the company to carry out the unfinished works “might well progress matters” given the involvement of NAMA and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) in the development.

Mourne View Properties was fined a total of €1,650 and it was ordered to pay the costs of Clare County Council relating to the case which totalled €3,150.

Judge O’Kelly also made a formal order under the provisions of the Planning and Development Act compelling the company to carry out the unfinished works within the next six months.

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