New legislation has been introduced to control high hedges where they affect a householder’s amenity by blocking light.

Trimming the largest Yew tree hedge in Britain.
Trimming the largest Yew tree hedge in Britain.

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 came into force on 1 April 2014 and affects all areas of Scotland.

The Act aims to provide a solution to the problem of high hedges, where neighbours have not been able to resolve the issue amicably, by providing a means of resolving disputes.

The Act gives home owners and occupiers a right to apply to their council for a high hedge notice.

A spokesperson for West Lothian Council said: “If you feel that your neighbour’s hedge is blocking your light and you’ve tried to resolve the situation without success, you can apply to the council to serve a High Hedge Notice on the owner of the hedge.

“The hedge needs to be more than two metres high and, before contacting the us, you need to have made efforts to resolve the situation by asking your neighbour to reduce the height of the hedge.”

The cost of the application will be £382, payable by the person affected by the hedge. Once the council receives an application it will assess the hedge and, if it is found to be blocking light to the extent that it’s affecting your residential amenity, will serve a notice on your neighbour requiring the hedge to be cut back or removed. Application forms and further guidance can be found on Planning Application page of the council’s website: