Lean-to for drying of clothes lands woman in court
COUNCIL 'DEAFENING' IN THEIR SILENCE
A WOMAN who put a lean-to on the side of her house without planning permission, told Wexford District Court that she tried to talk to Wexford County Council but met with a 'deafening silence'.
Eileen Coman, Coil Aoibhinn, Newtown Road was prosecuted by the Council after failing to comply with an enforcement notice requiring her to remove the unauthorised structure within two weeks in March 2008.
Caitriona Walsh, solicitor for the Council said the defendant attempted to get planning permission but was refused.
Ms. Coman told Judge Donnahcah O Buachalla that she put up the structure to dry clothes.
She was made aware that she would require planning permission but the application was refused.
She tried to contact the planners by telephone and letter with no success and eventually sent a registered letter.
She met with a planner who inspected the structure and said 'it wasn't bad at all'.
She agreed to comply with everything required but was subsequently informed that the application had been refused.
Ms. Coman said the application was approved by a senior planner and an executive planner but on the document of refusal, there was an illegible scribble from someone else, refusing the permission.
She told the Judge she was seeking temporary permission to give her time to put up a permanent structure.
However, Ms. Walsh pointed out that the application had already been formally refused by Wexford Borough Council – the enforcement notice was issued by Wexford County Council.
It as now open to Ms. Coman to either appeal to An Bord Pleanala or make a new application.
The court heard that the reason the planning permission was refused was that the structure was not in keeping with the building guidelines for the area.
Ms. Coman said she had since removed the roof of the structure and was 'more than surprised' to be summoned to court.
She had left the timber struts and intended to grow vines on those. She didn't understand how it could now be described as a structure.
Ms. Walsh said the enforcement notice required all the structure to be removed. It was right on the boundary wall of the next-door property.
Judge O Buachalla asked Ms. Coman if she intended to apply for permission again.
She replied that it would cost €12,000 to put up a permanent structure and as she had spent €5,000 on this to date, it would take some time to get the finance together.
She said she had tried in vain to make contact with the planners and had met with a 'deafening silence'.
Judge O Buachalla adjourned the case to give Ms. Coman time to meet with local authority planners.