PUBLIC anger has been vented at Limerick City and County council, following reports in this newspaper that two home owners may be prosecuted for painting their roofs red.
As first revealed in the Limerick Leader, two home-owners in Dooradoyle who painted their roofs red – and maintain it was the original colour – have been warned of the possibility of a court appearance by the local authority, who queried whether they had planning permission for this “development”.
The warning letters have been sent to the neighbouring home owners in St Nessan’s Park, stating that they could face fines of up to €12m in court if successful enforcement orders are taken against them because they did not apply for planning permission.
The case has now come before An Bord Pleanala’s inspectors, who are due to decide this May on whether the change in colour to the roofs of houses No 5 and No 6 St Nessan’s Park, is a development that required permission from the local authority, or is exempted from the planning process.
Speaking on Live 95FM, home owner Paddy Mullins said the house is 60 years old and he decided “to spend a few bob cleaning it up”.
“We had to do (up0 the roof because of the amount of moss falling off of it. I was surprised by the letter (from the council). I didn’t know you had to get planning for painting your roof. I thought I was doing good by painting it the original colour,” he said.
“I have a very strong case. I’m retired now, after spending 42 years paying my dues to the Government. Everyone around here has said the house looks absolutely beautiful - no complaints,” said the 67-year-old grandfather.
Hundreds of people on social media sites complained that this was an unnecessary case taken by the council, and said the man should instead be complimented for improving his property, while many more around the city are often neglected and left in a state of dereliction.
A spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council’s planning office said that a planning officer was in the area and saw that the colour of the roofs “was totally out of character with the area, a very bright orange-y red colour and found that there was no record of permission.”
The council sent the owners a warning letter each in October last, stating that this was an “unauthorised development”, and to give them an opportunity to state their case.
The council had asked them to respond regarding the “purported offence” within four weeks of the warning letter. It warned that in the event of a court case they could be liable to a fine not exceeding €12,697,380.28, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both. No enforcement order will be made until there’s a ruling from An Bord Pleanala.