Row over height of hedge between 'arrogant' Edinburgh neighbours to be decided by the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has been roped in to bitter row over the height of a hedge.
The hedge at the centre of a dispute between two Edinburgh neighboursThe hedge at the centre of a dispute between two Edinburgh neighbours
The hedge at the centre of a dispute between two Edinburgh neighbours

A furious row over the height of a hedge separating two Edinburgh houses will now be heard by the Scottish Government.

The argument, between the owners of the hedge at 4 Marchfield Grove and their neighbours at No 5 Marchfield Grove in the Capital, has lasted for ten years despite No 4 changing hands in 2014.

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Following Edinburgh City Council’s rejection of an application for a high hedge notice the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) must now decide whether that decision was correct.

The hedge, which the council said measured between 2.35m and 3.3m, has been the subject of bitter debate, with appeal documents showing that despite “multiple meetings” between the neighbours, no resolution could be found.

In the appeal statement, Robert Addis, who lives at No. 5, said he had been engaged in “constant arguments” over the height of the bush with its owner, Robbie Moir.

Labelling his neighbours “arrogant”, Mr Addis said: “Mr Moir has been very adamant to the fact that he has no intention of doing so and that he can allow the hedge to grow to any height he so wishes.

“His attitude has caused great stress to both my wife and myself.

“After having no problems between 1982 and 2010 it is upsetting to have had two arrogant neighbours since.

“The hedge affects the light, growing plants and shrubs and general appearance of No. 5 and the rest of the cul-de-sac.”

In the statement, Mr Addis also complains of having to pay his gardener £250 to cut the hedge and remove the trimmings and added he is no longer able to maintain the shrubbery.

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However, representations from Mr Moir in the case dealt with by the council state that the neighbours do not believe the hedge impacts on sunlight and is cut twice a year.

In the original decision by the council to refuse the application for a high hedge notice, officers concluded that the hedge allows “views and ambient light to pass through” and was not considered to cause “any significant loss of light”.

Officers said: “The height of the hedge did not appear oppressive, overly dominant and had little impact on the growing of plants, the occurrence of algae on the drive or the reasonable enjoyment of the property.”

A government reporter, Keith Bray, was appointed to deal with the case by the DPEA on 5 May, with a decision due to be taken by the government by 21 July, 2020.

The High Hedges Act 2013 allows a local authority to resolve disputes over hedges and, if necessary, provide a list of actions a hedge owner must take to restore a “suitable balance between the applicant's and the hedge owner's enjoyment of their house, and also the needs of the wider community.”



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