High Hedges Bill is “welcome action” for Dunfermline and West Fife

High hedgeDunfermline MSP Bill Walker has hailed the passage of a Private Member’s Bill tackling the nuisance of high hedges as “welcome action for people throughout Dunfermline and Fife”.

The High Hedges (Scotland) Bill, raised by North East Scotland MSP Mark McDonald, passed unanimously through the Scottish Parliament and is the first Private Member’s Bill of the current session.

Mr Walker said: “I was glad to participate in the early stages of drafting the High Hedges (Scotland) Bill, in 2011.

“Under this new legislation, a high hedge is a ‘row of two or more trees or shrubs rising to a height of more than two metres which forms a barrier to light’. All species of trees and shrubs are included.

“Power will now lie with councils to decide when such a high hedge ‘adversely affects the reasonable enjoyment of domestic property’.  Of course, there is nothing to stop a hedge growing high by agreement of neighbours, but when differences occur councils now have powers to impose pruning and even charge costs to hedge owners who refuses to cooperate.

“I sincerely hope common sense will prevail and that West Fife residents with high hedges will take early pruning action, before being legally obliged to do so by Fife Council, following the Bill gaining Royal Assent within a few months.

“This Bill is welcome action for people throughout Dunfermline and Fife.  It has been a long time coming, and the persistence of Scothedge activists, such as Derek and Kate Park in Limekilns, played a large part in getting things moving.  A high hedge may not seem a major issue to many people, but it certainly is if you live next to one.

“I was in Parliament to see this Bill go through, and I congratulate all those people who finally succeeded in getting it passed.”

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