AN INVERKEILOR woman who has campaigned for years to have nuisance fences outlawed was delighted when Mark McDonald MSP launched his private member’s High Hedges Bill last Wednesday.
A founder member of the campaigning group Scothedge, Pam McDougall, Teapot Lane, commented: “Although we are delighted that Mark McDonald’s Bill should solve the majority of problems caused by nuisance high hedges, there are a significant number of households which will not benefit from this protection as deciduous trees are not included in the Bill.
“However, as the proposed Bill proceeds through the Local Government and Regeneration Committee stage we are hoping that further improvements can be made.”
The Bill will reach the parliament for debate during the next session. Supported by the government, cross-party MSPs and Scothedge, it is hoped to have the long awaited Bill on the statute book by early next year, ending misery for high hedge sufferers.
Scothedge, which has a small voluntary committee, has campaigned vigorously during the last 12 years for nuisance hedges to be outlawed. After two public consultations with more than 600 responses from the public in 2009 which called for legislation, presentations to the Public Petitions committee and support of cross party MSPs, success is now in sight thanks to Mark McDonald and his team.
Mrs McDougall continued: “England, Wales and Northern Ireland have all passed legislation to address the problem of nuisance high hedges, as have many other countries such as Australia, Germany and France.
“In these countries the law acts as a deterrent so not many cases actually end up with remedial notices, and that is what we want to happen here. It is now time for Scotland to enjoy the same protection and for justice to be done.
“It has been a long haul and we are grateful to Mark McDonald MSP for getting to this stage and look forward to the Bill becoming law.”
She concluded: “Some boundary high hedges have caused untold misery and hedge bullies have been allowed to get away with it for too long. When this Bill becomes law we will then have the right to light in our homes and enjoyment in our gardens, just as thankfully everybody else in Scotland does.”