Couple blame high hedge for their rising energy bills

A Renfrewshire couple have taken their case to the Scottish Government.

Couple blame high hedge for their rising energy bills LDRS

A Renfrewshire couple who claim their energy bills have skyrocketed due to their neighbour’s 11m-high hedge have taken their case to the Scottish Government.

Gary and Joanna Short, who live in Bridge of Weir, say a 13-tree hedge at a house belonging to Eliza Wylie is restricting light into their living room and causing large amounts of debris to fall onto their property.

The pair – who have two young kids – claim the situation is ruining their enjoyment of their £552,000 home.

After failing to reach a resolution, Mr and Mrs Short applied to Renfrewshire Council for a high hedge notice to be served on her property, but were refused.

And they have now taken their fight to the government, insisting the council’s decision was “irrational”.

In appeal papers, Mr and Mrs Short say the hedge has not been maintained by the owner for more than 11 years and they are concerned their home could be damaged with branches now growing near gutters.

They said: “As the hedge has not been maintained for 11 years, it has become massively overgrown.

“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.

“The high hedge restricts light into our main living room requiring lights and heating to be turned on during the day and increased energy bills.

“We have tried to get this unmaintained hedge brought under control, through dialogue with the owner.

“Her own evidence confirms she hasn’t touched the hedge for 11 years and her responses to us show she has no desire to do the neighbourly thing.

“We are bewildered and upset that despite all the evidence collected, the council have sided with our neighbour.”

Documents sent to the council said Ms Wylie did not think the trees caused “any restriction of the enjoyment of the applicant’s garden” and they were established before the Shorts’ house was built.

She also claimed the trees give her privacy and provide “an environmental benefit” to nesting bats and birds.

Ms Wylie said she had attempted to resolve the issue by obtaining advice and quotes but instructed a solicitor to cease contact with the Shorts.

In rejecting the Shorts’ bid to have the trees lopped, the council 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.”

A government reporter is expected to issue a decision by April 11.

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