Landowner is told not to dig up road and sewers


A LANDOWNER has threatened to cut off hundreds of families by digging up the road and sewerage system serving their homes, the High Court has heard.

Mr Pat Butler, counsel for Shannon Homes, Drogheda, told Mr Justice Budd that his client had already sold 223 houses at £80,000 each at Wheaton Hall, Drogheda, and was concluding" the sale of 24 others.

He said the neighbouring landowners, Auburn Investments Ltd, through whose lands a roadway and all service facilities, including sewerage, had been constructed by agreement with the previous landowner, now threatened to dig up everything.

Mr Butler said the roadway in Wheaton Hall and through the property now owned by Auburn Investments, and other lands owned by Drogheda Corporation, were part of Drogheda's new town plan and had been built under an agreement which stipulated that each landowner would pay a specified share of the costs.

He said the roadway to Wheaton Hall had been built with all ancillary underground services. The original owner, Mr Pat Moran, had sold his property to Auburn Investments, which was now demanding to be linked up to the sewers without having to pay a share of the initial development.

Mr Butler said Shannon Homes had been told by Auburn Investments that unless it agreed to the deal a letter would be written to all solicitors in Drogheda and, to money lending houses drawing their attention to the dispute.

Despite assurances to the contrary a letter had been sent to solicitors, and his client feared Auburn Investments would carry out the threat to dig up the road and sewage system.

A Shannon Homes director, Mr Philip Reilly, said in an affidavit that if the letter was widely circulated to solicitors, lending houses, homebuyers and potential homebuyers, it would have a seriously damaging effect on his company.

It would injure the company's credibility and standing and might "lead to quite serious financial consequences for the company", Mr Reilly said. He feared for the survival of his company.

He said Auburn Investments was aware that Shannon Homes had built the roadway and services on the lands and should have been aware of agreements with the original owner.

Mr Justice Budd granted temporary injunctions restraining Auburn Investments Ltd from issuing or publishing to any solicitors or third party any letter, notice or advertisement of the dispute, and restraining it from taking any steps to interfere with the roadway or services.