Tipperary County Council refuse retention planning for log cabin which is due to be demolished

A Tipperary man who has been prosecuted for failing to remove a log cabin he built on his land, has now been refused retention planning permission for the cabin by Tipperary County Council.

Sean Meehan of Woodinstown, Cahir, Co Tipperary had applied to the Council on April 18 this year for permission to retain a log cabin style development.

Mr Meehan’s case is before the District Court as he is accused of failing to comply with certain enforcement notices issued by Tipperary County Council, on December 15, 2022. Planning records show that the original permission for a dormer bungalow and sewage treatment plant was refused for two reasons.

The decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála which upheld the decision of Tipperary County Council and refused permission for three reasons.

A demolition order for the log cabin came into place on March 14, which left Mr. Meehan fearful that the council could turn up at any time to take down his home – however Tipperary County Council has yet to act on the demolition order.

The case appeared before Judge Brian O’Shea in April this year, and has been adjourned for mention to July 4 in Cashel District Court.

The development is described as a mobile home, presently cladded in timber as to appear as a log cabin, with two outbuildings and the use of same as a domestic storage, a septic tank and percolation area, entrance and driveway plus all associated site works. Planning permission was also sought for a new external cladding with plaster finish to the mobile home.

Judge O’Shea had adjourned the case to allow Mr Meehan time to apply for retention permission. However it has now emerged that Tipperary County Council have refused retention permission.

Mr Meehan’s case has attracted significant national attention from supporters and politicians. Independent Cllr Mairín McGrath had been nominated to make representations in the case, according to planning documents.

A gofundme.com fundraising page has been set up online called ‘pensioner facing prison for building a log cabin’, and a Facebook page has been set up in his support, called Save Sean’s Cabin.

Earlier this year, Mr Meehan had said he would “batten down the hatches” and lie down in front of the digger if any demolition team turned up to remove his home.

“That land and that cabin is my home. I am not homeless, but I am being made homeless. Even when I leave prison in four months' time, I will still go back to my land because it is my home,” he said.

"Even if the cabin is demolished by the time I leave prison, I will still not give up my land. I will pitch a tent on my empty site and I will live in that tent off-grid.”

Mr Meehan’s planning ordeal came about after he went through a divorce and was forced to sell his home. Because he couldn’t afford to buy a new house or rent anywhere, Mr Meehan moved into a mobile home on land he owned.

However, Mr Meehan fell sick with bronchitis when his mobile home became uninhabitable during the winter due to the cold. Since Mr Meehan could not afford to move, he tried to make the mobile home more habitable by cladding it in timber and insulating it.

As Mr Meehan went to go get planning permission, he was faced with yet another health scare when he found a growth on his prostate. Planning permission was put on hold as Mr Meehan concentrated on getting better. Since then, Mr. Meehan has made a full recovery, but has been in Cashel District Court four times.

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