A RESIDENT has been fighting to get a neighbour’s hedge cut down over claims it blocks light to his garden.

The homeowner, who failed to persuade East Lothian Council to force his neighbour to remove the hedge, has now taken the case to Scottish Ministers.

Alan Armitage, who lives on Whinny View, Aberlady, asked the council to serve a high hedge order on the owners of a neighbouring house after he said that writing to them failed to bring any action.

But when planning officers visited the garden, on neighbouring Mair End in the village, they failed to find a problem.

And they argued that the fact Mr Armitage had put decking in his garden, creating a raised seating area, meant that the hedges were needed to protect his neighbour’s privacy.

Now Mr Armitage has appealed the decision to Scottish Ministers, accusing the council officers of putting their personal opinion ahead of the facts.

East Lothian Courier: This image highlights the hedges at the centre of the dispute between Aberlady neighbours. Image: DPEA appeals site

This image highlights the hedges at the centre of the dispute between Aberlady neighbours. Image: DPEA appeals site

In his appeal, he disputes the officers' decision to treat the complained-about hedging as two separate hedges because there is a small gap between them.

He also demands a return of the fee for his original application, accusing them of not using the correct methodology to asses loss of light to his garden.

He said: “When referencing the deck in our garden, the [planning officer] report states: ‘The high deck may cause privacy concerns if the hedge and individual trees were not present along the shared boundary.’ This is an arbitrary comment and based on a subjective opinion.

“This subjectivity was not offered when assessing the loss of light to the garden and through our windows.”

In coming to their decision last September, council officers said that the height of the hedge was 4.5 metres and it would have to be double that to qualify for a high hedge notice.

They said: “In respect of unacceptable loss of light to garden ground, the actionable hedge height was calculated to be approximately nine metres.

“As the hedges located within the curtilage of 10 Mair End do not exceed 4.5 metres in height, it is not considered that either hedge causes an unacceptable loss of light to the garden of 7 Whinny View at their current heights.”

The case is being considered by the Scottish Government Reporter.