Rock legend Van Morrison has been prevented from going ahead with plans to widen the driveway to his Dalkey mansion in Dublin.

His neighbours, Alphonsus and Claudia O'Mara of Monte Alverno, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, won a High Court action today preventing the singer carrying out the proposed work at his home.

The legal costs of the litigation are estimated at over E250, 000.

The O'Mara and Morrison mansions share access on Dalkey's upmarket Sorrento Road. The O'Maras, who live in Monte Alverno, own the lower driveway.

Mr Morrison has a right of passage to get to his own mansion at Kilross and a restrictive agreement sets out what development can take place.

However, this did not include the rock star's plans to widen his access to his home.

Although Mr Morrison didn't appear in court, partner Michele Rocca did, claiming that the access posed a danger to her three children.

Mr Justice Kelly said the case attests to the fact that the payment of a substantial price for a good house gives no guarantee of good neighbours.

The case took four days in the High Court. Mr Justice Kelly had hoped that Van Morrison and the O'Maras could come to an agreed solution mentioning that they would still have to survive as neighbours.

Van Morrison will have to pay costs but there is speculation that the case may have another outing, this time in the Supreme Court.