In 1983 a resident of Buchlyvie decided to stop trimming her hedge, resulting in a dispute between angered neighbours to try and get it removed.
After 30 long years, and thanks to the introduction of a new law, residents are now celebrating after the owner has been ordered to scale the 40ft hedge back.
Neighbours affected by the hedge have claimed that the branches were blocking their windows and that several hours of sunlight were being lost – in Scotland, property owners do not have a statutory right to light making this case all the more difficult.
The introduction of the Hedges Act last year has enabled the residents to end this 30 year battle and the Scottish Government have ordered that the hedge be scaled back.
Miss MacGregor defended the hedge by claiming that it acted as an essential nesting place for local birds, offered privacy and provided shelter from the wind. She also explained that as a result of worrying about her hedge, she suffered hypertension and angina.
A neighbour of Miss Macgregor, who was affected by the hedge explained:
“It’s been going on for 20 or 30 years, everyone has been up in arms about it, every household was united…But until the new act came into force, there was nothing we could do about it”
She goes on to say:
‘We lose three or four hours of sunlight a day, the ground gets very arid and it grows nothing…It’s a bit ridiculous it’s had to come to this, but she’s refused to talk about it. We just hope now that this all has come to an end, but I’ll believe it when I see it.’
Mike Croft, a Scottish Government reporter has ordered Miss Macgregor to scale part of the hedge so that it measures just over 6 feet and the remainder should reach no more than 9 feet. He goes on to explain:
“I am content to impose those cuts even though the effect on the health of the trees may be severe, even to the extent, perhaps, of killing some or all of them.
“It may be that the hedge owner’s interests will be best served by removing the hedge completely and, if she wishes, planting a replacement hedge that accords with any legal requirements, but I leave that as a matter for her.”
If Miss Macgregor does not respond to the order by October, she faces the threat of having Stirling Council turn up at her property to cut the hedge down and issuing her with the bill.
Disputes between neighbours are an all too common occurrence. Should you be embroiled with a neighbour in an argument about boundaries, or perhaps you believe your right to light is being breached, a local Chartered Surveyor can help. Find yours at: