Lavelle Solicitors successfully represented Tipperary Raceway in a Supreme Court Appeal.
In this case, the Respondent, Tullamaine Castle Stud were granted a High Court injunction in 2008 against our client Tipperary Raceway, the owner of a motor racing track, compelling them to operate the motor track in accordance with certain conditions imposed by the Court with reference to the original planning application which had been granted in 1981 which limited the operating hours of the track.
In the appeal, the Supreme Court ruled that the scope and nature of the High Court injunction placed on Tipperary Raceway could not be sustained on the basis of either the claims of planning breaches or nuisance brought by Tullamaine Castle Stud, who run a neighbouring equine stud farm, and the Appeal was granted.
Background of the case
The Respondent brought their claim to the High Court in part on a contention that Tipperary Raceway was acting in breach of the planning laws. Among other claims they alleged that there was a material change of use of the motor racing circuit by reason of a significant intensification of use. The Respondent also contended that that the manner in which the motor racing circuit was operated amounted to a private law nuisance.
The decision was appealed by Tipperary Raceway on the grounds that the High Court was wrong to conclude that the breach of the planning laws, brought about by the intensification of use, was not subject to a seven-year limitation period in the same way that any other form of development would.
Tipperary Raceway submitted that the material change of use, which they say predated the seven year period before the commencement of the proceedings, was no longer capable of enforcement under the 2000 Act.
The central question in Tipperary Raceway’s appeal to the Supreme Court was whether the scope of the injunction imposed by the High Court was correct.It was argued that the injunction imposed failed to have regard to the fact that the intensification of use, which amounted to a material change of use, was statute barred, and that since the terms of the injunction granted were determined with reference to the original planning application the injunction cannot be sustained either on the basis of the planning law claim or on the basis of the claim in nuisance.
The Supreme Court agreed with the Appellant and in the unanimous Judgement written by Mr Justice Clarke the Court ruled that the injunction could not be sustained and the Order of the High Court was set aside, however the Court was not satisfied that it was either appropriate or possible for the Supreme Court to substitute its own injunction in its place. The case was therefore remitted back to the High Court to determine an appropriate injunction in light of the analysis of the issues conducted by the Supreme Court.