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High Hedges (Scotland) Bill – A Solution For Warring Neighbours?

High Hedges (Scotland) Bill – A Solution For Warring Neighbours?

The Scottish Government are currently consulting on a bill to outlaw high hedges.  What would Jim from the Beechgrove Garden think?

There is already legislation in England under the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003.  That provides that where you have a hedge (two or more evergreens above 2m in height), and there is a complaint about it the parties must get together and try to resolve the problem.  If they cannot resolve it, then the local authority can issue a remedial notice, and if that is not complied with the owners and occupiers are guilty of an offence and can be fined.

The local authority may take remedial action on its own account also.

Apparently the Scottish Government consulted in 2009 and the responses were almost all from private individuals.  Almost half of those were involved in a dispute with a neighbour over a hedge (surprise, surprise!).

Mark MacDonald, MSP, lodged a private members bill in March, and the Government are taking it seriously.

While it is competent to restrict building heights in title deeds, there is no such thing as a right to light in Scotland.  Do we really need a statute to control our gardens?

Lionel Most