Dispute over light costs neighbour thousands


A DUBLIN man must pay his neighbour thousands of euros over a dispute about a conservatory and a skylight.

When solicitor John O’Brien decided to build a conservatory to the rear of his home at Marlborough Road, Donnybrook, Dublin, he knew it would block light to the rear stairwell of his neighbour Fiach Ó Brolcháin, the Circuit Civil Court was told.

Siún Leonowicz, for Mr Ó Brolcháin, an architect, said Mr O’Brien negotiated an agreement whereby he would pay for the purchase and installation of a skylight above the stairwell in return for his neighbour not objecting to the conservatory development.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard that things had gone well until Mr O’Brien had failed to secure planning permission for the skylight on the roof of Mr Ó Brolcháin’s house, which architecturally is a protected building.

The erection of the conservatory had gone ahead with consequent blockage of light to the stairwell. A dispute then arose over whose responsibility it was to obtain planning permission and the matter eventually ended up in court.

Judge Linnane said she was satisfied Mr Ó Brolcháin would not have agreed to the development of the conservatory had it not been for the agreement reached with his neighbour and that there would be no cost to him.

She directed that Mr O’Brien indemnify Mr Ó Brolcháin for the cost of his obtaining the necessary planning permission to carry out the work and indemnify him for the €6,000 costs and expenses of the planning application as well as meeting the estimated €700 cost of obtaining and installing the skylight. Judge Linnane awarded all legal costs of the litigation, in the region of €8,000, to Mr Ó Brolcháin.