House owner fights Waterford Council compulsory purchase after complaints

House owner fights Waterford Council compulsory purchase after complaints

The owner of a house, which was allegedly the subject of complaints by residents because of its state of repair and overgrown garden, has brought a High Court challenge to the local council's moves to acquire the property.

Peter Paul Keenan owns the house at the Grange, John's Hill, Waterford, which Waterford City and County Council put a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on over a year ago.

Mr Keenan, who says he has lived at Abbey Field, Clonard, Co Meath, for the last 16 years, says he knew nothing about the CPO until September this year. He discovered the council had been sending CPO notices to a former address of his in Waterford and to another in Dublin. The notices were returned to the council as undelivered, he says in an affidavit.

Mr Keenan says he last rented the property in 2015 but the tenants terminated the lease following complaints from a neighbour, which he did not accept.


He now plans to carry out works to the property so his daughters can live there when they attend Waterford Institute of Technology.

Locks changed

He says he was astonished to discover on September 27th last the locks had been changed.

He was told by the council the CPO had been initiated because of complaints from the residents association. He says there is no residents association and believes the complaints come from one particular resident.

He says he is distraught at the thought the council could acquire his property without having notified him. He never had any intention of selling it, he says. The CPO is grossly disproportionate and fundamentally unfair, he says.


On Monday, Stephen Dodd BL, for Mr Keenan, was granted leave by Mr Justice Charles Meenan to bring judicial review proceedings seeking to quash the CPO decision. The application was on a one-side only represented basis.

The judge also granted a stay on the CPO proceeding pending further determination but gave the council liberty to vary or remove the stay with seven days notice to the Keenan side.

The case will come back before the court in January.