BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Plea to axe monster hedges
Leylandii
Leylandii - the monster hedge
A plea to outlaw massive hedges has been heard by the Scottish Parliament.

An Angus couple have taken a petition to Holyrood calling for the height of hedges, such as Leylandii fir, to be restricted by law.

James and Pamela McDougall told MSPs that the problem "blighted the lives of many people" and often led to depression, anxiety and stress for householders.

The couple's call came as Labour MSP Scott Barrie brought forward a member's bill to give councils power to intervene in neighbour's disputes and if necessary remove offending hedgerows.

Dunfermline West MSP Scott Barrie
Scott Barrie: Member's bill

Mr and Mrs McDougall, of Inverkeilor in Angus, gave evidence before the Petitions Committee.

"It seems odd to us that if one wants to put up a fence or wall over two metres high, local authority planning permission is required - but not for a hedge which is 10 times that high," Mr McDougall said.

Mrs McDougall said that the Scottish Executive must either support Mr Barrie's bill or bring forward its own proposals as soon as possible.

She said the hedges removed sunlight and caused distress within families in how to deal with the problems.

"Attempts to trim hedges have caused accidents and incidents of violence have been reported in the media," she said.

More pressure

"A neighbour was shot dead in July 2000 as the result of a hedge dispute in England, so please don't let's delay legislation any longer because we don't want this to happen in Scotland."

Members of the committee agreed to lobby the executive urging them to act quickly to bring in legislation on the matter.

Committee convener John McAllion MSP said: "The more pressure that's applied on the executive from our committee, the better."

The MSP for Dunfermline West, Scott Barrie, said he had decided to bring forward his bill after being approached by worried householders.


Attempts to trim hedges have caused accidents and incidents of violence have been reported in the media

Pamela McDougall
"The Leylandii in particular make effective windbreaks and also grow very quickly, but also grow very quickly into a major problem if they're not controlled properly."

A Scottish Executive spokesman it was already planning to bring forward legislation giving councils more power to intervene in hedge disputes.

He said this could be done either by bringing forward its own bill or by supporting a member's bill such as Scott Barrie's.

"We would have to look at the detail of it, but in broad principle we are looking to bring forward, or support, legislation," he said.

See also:

11 Aug 00 | UK
10 Dec 98 | UK Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes