High hedge misery may be near an end

WHILST many readers will be aware of problems caused by high hedges around gardens, fewer may know that there is an organisation, Scothedge, which campaigns for the banning of nuisance hedges, with a local representative.

Pam McDougall, Inverkeilor, has welcomed a Private Members’ Bill in the Scottish Parliament, sponsored by Mark McDonald MSP.

Mr McDonald launched the High Hedges (Scotland) Bill on October 3. It will reach the Parliament for debate during the next session.

Supported by the government, cross party MSPs and Scothedge, it is hoped to have the long awaited Bill on the statute book by early next year, ending misery for high hedge sufferers.

Scothedge has campaigned vigorously during the last 12 years for nuisance hedges to be outlawed. After two public consultations with more than 600 responses from the public in 2009 which called for legislation, presentations to the Public Petitions Committee and support of cross-party MSPs, success is now in sight.

Mrs McDougall, a founder member of Scothedge, said: “Although we are delighted that Mark McDonald’s Bill should solve the majority of problems caused by nuisance high hedges, there are a significant number of households which would seem will not benefit from this protection, as deciduous trees are not included in the Bill.

“However, as the proposed Bill proceeds through the Local Government and Regeneration Committee stage we are hoping further improvements can be made.

“England, Wales and Northern Ireland have all passed legislation to address the problem of nuisance high hedges.

“It is now time for Scotland to enjoy the same protection. Some boundary hedges have caused untold misery and hedge bullies have been allowed to get away with it for too long. When this Bill becomes law we will then have the right to light in our homes and enjoyment in our gardens, just as thankfully everybody else in Scotland does.”