David Galvin received an enforcement order from Cork County Council yesterday directing him to cease all work on what it says is an unauthorised structure on scenic Brow Head in West Cork, and ordering its demolition.
The house, which is almost complete, has been built on the same site as an old farmhouse located on a 20-plus acre site Mr Galvin bought last year. The headland site overlooks some of Ireland’s leading beaches.
The council’s order said the old dwelling had been demolished entirely. It also stated the footprint of the new dwelling has been increased substantially and its overall height has been increased significantly.
But Mr Galvin said the order’s statements were factually incorrect and he restated that he has done nothing wrong.
“I can’t comply with it because I haven’t done anything wrong. As far as I’m concerned, the council has served this notice without any consultation with me or my professional advisors and without considering any of the engineering evidence. I have every intention of rectifying this situation.”
He met his legal advisors yesterday to consider his options. A legal challenge against the council is being considered.
Mr Galvin has provided engineering reports and photographs which state the new house has been built on the same footprint as the original house. They state the ground floor measurements of the new house, at 1,040sq ft, are the same as the original.
They also show that while the pitch of the new roof has been changed, its height of 6.2 metres is the same as the original. Window openings have also been enlarged to meet modern fire safety regulations.
Mr Galvin said the work he has done is a repair and renovation of the original farmhouse, and is therefore an exempted development which does not require planning permission.
But the council has said that as far as it is concerned, the new home does not have planning permission and is unauthorised.