Neighbours ‘breached’ view agreement

Former Miss Ireland Michelle Rocca, with her sister Laura, leavingthe High Court yesterday. Picture: Courtpix

The wife of singer Van Morrison claims her neighbours breached an agreement that her family would continue to enjoy an alleged panoramic view of Dalkey Bay following building work on the adjoining property, the High Court has heard.

Michelle Morrison has taken legal action against Conor and Eileen Kavanagh, claiming breach of an agreement that the view of the bay and Dalkey Island would not be blocked out as a result of shrubbery planting at the rear of the Morrisons’ Kilross House, next to the Kavanaghs’ home, Mount Alverno, Sorrento Rd, Dalkey, Co Dublin.

The Kavanaghs deny there is any panoramic view or that Ms Morrison is entitled in law to such a view. They also say they are not bound by any conditional agreements relating to maintaining shrubbery at a certain height and say that any view is extremely limited by existing hedges and vegetation on other properties.

Ms Morrison says she did not object to a planning permission for the redevelopment of Mount Alverno in reliance on an agreement that her view and privacy would not be affected. The Kavanaghs deny they induced her not to object on the basis of an agreement.

On the opening day of the action, Ms Morrison’s counsel Mark Sanfey said Van Morrison, who acquired Kilross House in 1996, was known for protecting his privacy.

The house was transferred to Ms Morrison’s sole name in 2009 but it has been at all times been the family home, he said. The Kavanaghs bought Mount Alverno in 2001 and by 2007 had obtained planning permission to demolish it and replace it with a house twice the size.

The main issue in this case is whether Ms Morrison and her family are entitled to have a view out over Dalkey Bay, counsel said. The area in question forms part of the driveway up to Mount Alverno and is some distance from the house.

There was agreement that as part of the redevelopment of Mount Alverno that any shrubbery planted would not exceed the height of a wall and in return the Morrisons would not object to the planning application, counsel said.

The Kavanaghs also got their planning permission on the strength of a letter of support to the planning authority from Ms Morrison as well as permission from her to allow the Kavanaghs connect to the drainage system, counsel said.

Mr Sanfey said that, after getting planning permission, the Kavanaghs sought and were granted a compliance with permission certificate from the local authority, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council.

This case, which is due to last 10 days, continues before Mr Justice David Keane, who also urged the parties to reconsider mediation given the costs involved.


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