A COUPLE are locked in an 11 year row with a neighbour over a 36ft hedge – claiming it has sent their energy bills soaring.
Gary and Joanna Short say they pay more for electricity and heating because foliage blocks light into their living room.
Neighbours have been rowing over the 36ft hedge for 11 years
They blame neighbour Eliza Wylie’s hedgerow for blocked drains and fear it could damage their home in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
And they say they are unable to enjoy their garden because it is overshadowed by the greenery next door.
Wylie hit back at their claims, saying the trees were there long before the Short family moved in.
The Shorts have now taken their fight to the Scottish government after council chiefs rejected their application to get the hedge cut down.
In an appeal document, they said: “As the hedge has not been maintained by the owner for over 11 years, it has become massively overgrown in both height and width.
“Due to the height and width, professional tree surgeons would be required to maintain the hedge which now significantly overhangs our property.
” There are also potential costs with damage to property with branches now growing near gutters and roofline.
“Allowing this hedge to keep growing will bring continued costs to us.
“We have tried to get this unmaintained hedge brought under control, through dialogue with the owner.
“Her own evidence confirms that she hasn’t touched the hedge for 11 years and her responses to us shows she has no desire to do the neighbourly thing.
“In dialogue with our neighbour and the council, we have always stated that we don’t want the hedge to be removed, we just requested for it to be brought under control to allow us to enjoy our space and right to sunlight into our garden and main living room.”
They added: “Another example is higher energy bills due to the lights and heating in the lounge having to be on more due to the poor light entering the front of the property.”
Documents submitted to Renfrewshire Council revealed Wylie did not think her trees caused any ‘restriction of the enjoyment’ on the Shorts garden.
She said her trees afforded her ‘privacy’ and provided ‘environmental benefit’ to nesting birds and bats.
Wylie also argued the trees were present long before the Shorts property had been built.
Renfrewshire Council rejected the Shorts’ bid to have the trees lopped.
A spokesman said: ” As a result of the position of the hedge in relation to the front garden, it is considered that the subject hedge does not result in a significant adverse impact upon the reasonable enjoyment of the applicant’s property, which would warrant the serving of a high hedge notice.”
The Scottish government is considering the appeal.
The Short family say the hedge has left them with hefty utility bills
The hedge is claimed to overshadow the Shorts’ living room and garden
Gary and Joanna Short have appealed to the Scottish government to get the trees lopped