THE TYRANNY OF NUISANCE HEDGES IN SCOTLAND

HOME The Campaign A Nuisance Hedge
WHY THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT SHOULD LEGISLATE

“Hedges can be attractive and long lasting assets to gardens,giving shelter, privacy, and defining boundaries. However using fast growing subjects for quick results can lead to hedges which are hard to handle and become too large. The Royal Horticultural Society believes that information to help choose better hedging plants or to select alternatives will help, but will not entirely resolve the problem of high hedges.There is need for local authorities to be able to act where hedges are a nuisance.“

The R.H.S. issued the above statement, encouraging the government to introduce legislation to constrain the proliferation of high hedges unsuited to their garden setting.

As the law currently stands, there is no need for a hedge grower to give any consideration whatosoever to the impact of the hedge upon neighbours. The law sees the hedge simply as being the property of it's owner and protects it as such.

In most cases neighbours are sensitive to the mutual nature of their garden boundaries and things do not get out of hand.

Unfortunately there are a substantial number of residencies where the inhabitants rarely meet their neighbours and where one or both parties disregard any mutual responsibility across the garden boundary.

Where this insensitivity exists the complainant can only plead for assistance from the hedge grower who has absolutely no legal incentive to respond.Failing a response, the complainant must simply bear the inconsideration of the hedge grower.

This inequality of rights is the source of great distress and anger felt by both parties as neighbours fall out.The entire onus falls upon the complainant to seek a solution. This is both stressful and expensive and may well drive the complainant into illness or debt.

There requires to be a fair solution to such problems. Planning laws, adequately deal with fixed structures such as fences but do not deal with growing structures which may rise to the height of a two storey building close to a neighbouring house.

The practical problem of inappropriate hedges has escalated in sub-urbia where houses have been given less and less space and where many gardens have been sold to build infill houses.

It has become totally unacceptable for large forest trees to be used as amenity trees and hedges unless they are managed with great sensitivity to their impact upon neighbours.

The modern lifestyle has brought with it an element of selfishness which has compounded hedge strife. Hedge growers may grow for privacy without any regard for surrounding neighbours.

AFTER NINE YEARS OF CAMPAIGNING AND THE COLLAPSE OF A PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILL, THE SNP GOVERNMENT IS PREPARING A THIRD PUBLIC CONSULTANCY AS A PREREQUISITE TO LEGISLATION DESTINED TO PROVIDE A LAST RESORT SOLUTION TO THE INTERMINABLE HIGH HEDGE DISPUTE