NEIGHBOURS at odds over hedges blocking light from their homes can now turn to councillors for a ruling.
Moray's planning and regulatory services committee has agreed to deal with high hedge complaints for the coming year, following the introduction of new legislation.
Under the High Hedges (Scotland) Act, which came into effect at the start of April, neighbours must first attempt to resolve any argument.
Thereafter, they can apply to the local authority for a High Hedge Notice as a “last resort”, at the cost of £382. The applicant must consider that the “height of a high hedge situated on land owned or occupied by another person adversely affects the enjoyment of the domestic property which an occupant of that property could reasonably expect to have”.
Once a complaint has been made, the council will notify the hedge owner and visit the site. After a decision is taken, both parties will be notified and, if the hedge is found to impede light, its owner will be given a deadline by when they must act.
“If they fail to take the remedial action on the hedge in that time, the local authority will arrange for the work to be carried out. The council will have the power to recover the cost of any work carried out from the hedge owner,” a report to committee stated.