Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said in a reserved judgment that Barth O’Neill, Dunboy Greener Homes Limited, and Dunboy Construction and Property Developers Limited, had in 2004 commenced construction of a large housing estate at Pairc Chumin, Clashnagrance, Kilcummin, Killarney, which remained unfinished.
He said barrister John J Morrissey had told the court that the developers had in 2005 started storing “things related to building” on the undeveloped part of the site.
Judge Humphreys said that in July, the county council had received complaints from various third parties expressing concerns regarding “an unauthorised change of use” of the site from residential to commercial, by the placing of truck trailers or containers on the land.
The judge said the council had issued warning letters to the developers on July 22, stating it had come to its attention that unauthorised development might be taking place on the site.
He said the attitude of the developers, who sought to judicially review the council’s decision to issue an enforcement notice, was tantamount to an admission that they were carrying out development without authorisation.
Their response that they had ameliorated the visual impact of the site was well and good, but did not address the issue of unauthorised development.
The council had issued enforcement notices requiring Mr Barth and his companies to cease the use of the site for a commercial business related to insulation or any similar use by October 30.
The local authority had also demanded Mr Barth’s companies, which claim to be the market leaders in insulation and energy efficiency, remove from the site of all materials, machinery, containers and other identified items by Christmas Eve.
Mr Barth and his companies had sought to have the council’s enforcement notices ruled invalid and quashed.
Judge Humphreys refused the application for leave for judicial review of the council’s decisions.
He said the notion the applicants had been prevented from pursuing certain issues was “almost laughable” given the extent to which they had engaged in a campaign of meritless technical objection to the council’s attempt to have them comply with planning law.