A LANDLORD who spent €25,000 converting a semi-detached house into separate flats without permission was convicted of breaching planning regulations.
Pat Conway was prosecuted by Limerick City Council in relation to unauthorised works which were carried out at a house at Sheelin Drive, Caherdavin.
Sean Moran, a planning enforcement officer, told Limerick Court he called to the property on December 20, 2011 after the local authority received a number of complaints from local residents and politicians.
He said he observed works being carried out at the time to sub-divide the property.
Mr Moran confirmed that an enforcement order was put in the letter box at the house the following month requiring Mr Conway to return the house to its original state within two weeks.
When the works were not carried out, a second enforcement notice was hand-delivered in February, 2012.
However, as Mr Conway does not live at the house and because the notices were not served correctly a third enforcement notice was served on a tenant at the property in October of last year.
Solicitor Will Leahy, representing Limerick City Council, said while the defendant was being prosecuted for not complying with the enforcement notice, the property has since been restored to its original state as a “single dwelling”.
Solicitor Gearoid McGann submitted as the enforcement orders had not been properly served on his client the prosecution was unlawful.
However Judge Eugene O’Kelly said he was satisfied Mr Conway had been “obstructive and non cooperative with the enforcement officers” and “knew what he was doing was unlawful and unauthorised”.
Noting that Mr Conway had “effectively lost €25,000”, the judge fined him €100 and ordered that he pay the costs of Limerick City Council, which totalled €2,057.