During renovations last year I set about creating off street parking in front of my house, which involved knocking a wall leading from the road/footpath to the house. My brother when helping me out mistakenly knocked the wall parallel to the footpath also. I knew very little about planning at this point and didn't know that I needed planning permission for off street parking. After this the brown stuff started to hit the fan. The timeline of events:
- 24 March 06 warning letter from council saying unauthorised development was being carried out in breach of Section 152 of Planning & Dev Act
- 04 May 06 enforcement notice received giving 4 weeks (deadline 02 June) for reinstatement of boundary wall
- 16 June I apply for retention planning permission. Various discussion back and forth between me and council, with permission eventually granted
- 11 Aug 2006 Decision date for grant of permission
- 19 Sep 2006 Date of Final Grant, giving 6 months to complete the work
After the enforcement letter I didn't hear any more about being in breach of P&D act, so I assumed that applying for retention permission had taken care of this. Then out of the blue on 02 Jan this year I receive a summons to appear in court on Feb 1st for non compliance with the enforcement notice, even though I was granted permission. I went through months of applying for retention permission and there was never any word about the enforcement letter...the pp took 3 months in total. 7 months have lapsed since the date for the deadline of the enforcement notice and it's taken them that long to get back to me. They have put their costs at 2,150 in total...legal costs at 1000 euro, and the remaining 1150 is basically handling / admin / processing of their site inspections, reports, etc. They said if I pay the costs they will recommend that the case be struck out.
So I'm wondering where I stand. For a start I think 2150 euro is ridiculous.
- Can they grant me retention permission but still say I'm in breach of an enforcement notice that directly relates to the permission I was granted?
- I don't have 2150 euro...if I go to court and refuse to pay or say I can't afford to pay, what will happen?
- Surely the enforcement notice should have come up at some point during the 3 months that the pp application was going on for. I'm not an engineer or a solicitor so am only learning about all this as it happens.
* I have read the charter and I know any replies are just advice. I will be getting legal advice but will be a few days yet. I want to get general feedback/thoughts/ideas first *