A COAGH family have claimed they have lost their home due to a planning battle spanning almost two decades.
David Gibson, along with his wife Lynette and two children, were ordered from their Ballinderry Road home by receivers when both were declared bankrupt.
The order was enforced after the couple were unable to meet costs of a protracted court case over a clay pigeon shoot owned and developed by David Gibson.
Objectors had claimed that pollution had been caused in surrounding land by pellets used on the shoot.
Following an out-of-court settlement Mr Gibson was also ordered to pay his own costs (estimated at £40,000), and those of the plantiffs.
Mr Gibson and his wife were declared bankrupt in 2006 and now six years on have been evicted from the home the family have shared for the last 22 years.
Whilst claiming “there had been many injustices” throughout the prolonged planning wrangle, Mr Gibson believes that actions taken, has made any attempts to repay debts owed impossible.
Some 22 acres owned by Mr Gibson is presently the subject of an inhibition order along with the family’s former home. He believes that given an opportunity all matters can be resolved.
Mr Gibson is adamant that he is now paying the ultimate price for decisions made at planning level over two decades ago.
He has vowed to keep on fighting for what he believes rightfully belongs to his family
“We are Christians and it’s only our faith that has got us through it,” said Mr Gibson
“We have always been really strong and really close together. We have had our good times and bad times, but we have kept on fighting and will. It’s the thought of justice that keeps us going, but I think that may be about finished.”
Despite Mr Gibson’s planning wrangle case being described as a “great injustice” by the then Environment Minister Sammy Wilson, the family say they have had little or no help from anyone in government over what has been described as one of the most complicated planning cases in recent years.
“To us there has been many injustices,” said Mr Gibson.
The family have taken up residency in the village of Coagh, but Mr Gibson remains defiant.
“I want to pay off all my debts and return to my home,”
“Our lives have been put in turmoil and there seems no end in sight. We will continue to fight for what we believe is still rightfully ours.”