Architect agreed Morrison’s views from her home would not be affected

Michelle Morrison at the HighCourt in Dublin. Picture: Courtpix

An architect says he agreed with an architect representing Michelle Morrison’s neighbours that views from her home would not be affected by redevelopment work on the neighbouring house in Dalkey, Co Dublin.

Professor James Horan represented Ms Morrison in pre-planning application discussions with architects for the neighbours, Conor and Eileen Kavanagh, the High Court has heard.

He was giving evidence on the second day of an action by Ms Morrison, wife of singer Van Morrison, against the Kavanaghs in which she alleges they breached an agreement that views from her home of Dalkey island would be preserved in the redevelopment.

Prof Horan said it was agreed during those discussions the view would be preserved by leaving the wall at the end of Ms Morrison’s garden as it was and that there would be no planting behind the wall which would be higher than that wall.

Prof Horan said the main purpose of the meeting with the Kavanaghs’ architect was to ensure there would be no objection from the Morrisons when the planning application was submitted.

In 2005, the Kavanaghs got new architects and Prof Horan had further pre-planning application discussions with them. However, they did not discuss the question of views because “as far as I was concerned, it was already agreed”.

The Kavanaghs were granted planning permission but it was appealed by some of the other neighbours.

The Kavanaghs asked Ms Morrison for a letter of support in the appeal. It was agreed it would be desirable to give such a letter which he said was “fairly unusual” in planning cases, he said.

Planning officials and Bord Pleanála officials would also attach a lot of weight to an immediate neighbour’s house, Prof Horan said.

Asked by Mark Sanfey, for Ms Morrison, how the letter of support reflected the relationship between the Kavanaghs and Morrisons, Prof Horan said “it reflected there was an extremely courteous, cordial, friendly and professional relationship between the parties”.

Earlier, photographer Fionnan O’Connell said he was asked by the Morrison side to take photographs of the views from the Morrison garden and kitchen table, of which 18 were presented in court.

Under cross-examination from Esmonde Keane, for the Kavanaghs, he disagreed the photos in court showed from the vast majority of the garden and kitchen area, until one goes up to a wall at the end of the garden, there was no view of the sea. Mr O’Connell believed there was a view of the sea when the light was right.

Earlier, efforts to get the entire dispute sent to mediation were not successful.

, Mr Justice David Keane was told there had been no agreement and the case proceeded.

The case continues.


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