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Couple Find Loophole in High Hedges Legislation

A dispute between neighbours in Lundin Links in Fife over the height of a hedge has taken a new twist after the owners of the hedge turned it into a row of trees rather than scale back its height, reports the Daily Mail.

Neighbours had been asking the owners of the hedge to trim it back for a number of years, as it blocked out light from their own garden, but were unsuccessful, so they decided to see if Scotland’s High Hedges legislation could help resolve the dispute.

Fife Council found in favour of the couple’s application and ordered that the owners reduce the 20ft leylandii hedge to around 12ft, and a beech hedge to 11ft. The owners appealed against the decision to the Scottish Government, but the decision was upheld, although the reporter did amend the order slightly to say the leylandii should be reduced to just under 15ft.

However, rather than comply with the request and reduce the height of the hedge, the owners apparently decided to remove sections of it, turning it into a series of leylandii trees, rather than a hedge.

According to the Daily Mail, the neighbours describe the owners’ actions as a deliberate attempt to exploit a loophole in the legislation, which says that a hedge can’t be viewed as a barrier to light if it has ‘gaps which significantly reduce its overall effect as a barrier’.

Fife Council are now said to be investigating the case.

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