Owner ordered to cut down high hedge

The High Hedges Act was established in Scotland in 2013
The High Hedges Act was established in Scotland in 2013

A Linlithgow resident will have to cut down a massive hedge line following an appeal hearing by the Scottish 
Government.

West Lothian Council issued a notice to Hans Gassert, of Manse Road, in October last year after a complaint from neighbour about a row of nine-metre high Leylandii trees which stretch for 33 metres along a wall in Rockville Grove.

Mr Gassert accepted the principle of the trees’ removal, but appealed against the time limit and wanted to re-plant the tree line at a height not exceeding three metres above the wall “to prevent people from accidentally falling off the wall” once the hedge was removed.

Scottish Government Reporter Michael J P Cunliffe, who carried out the appeal, said it was “reasonable” to extend the compliance period, which the council did not object to either.

Mr Gassert, a business owner, will also have to cut the trees down to the roots, which the council requested in the original notice, and cannot plant a new hedge barrier that would be over two metres.

He said: “I have no problem with the decision and I have cut down 18 trees already, but we can only do it at certain times during the week and weather permitting.

“People have strong feelings about the trees but I thought they were quite nice.”