Scotland politics

Holyrood members' bill bids to outlaw high hedges

High hedges
Image caption High hedges can blight people's lives, MSP Mark MacDonald says

A bid to outlaw high garden hedges has been lodged at Holyrood.

SNP MSP Mark MacDonald has proposed a members' bill which could make illegal hedging of a certain height encroaching on a neighbouring property.

Holyrood looked at the issue previously when former Labour MSP Scott Barrie made an attempt to bring a bill to deal with high hedges in 2002.

On this occasion backbencher Mr MacDonald has the support of the majority Scottish government.

Although serious disputes over high hedges are rare, Mr MacDonald believes that for many people it is an issue that can blight their lives.

He said: "Over the last few months, it has become clear this is a problem that affects households from all parts of Scotland and I believe that this bill will give those affected the powers to finally have the problem addressed."

'Selfish individuals'

Mr MacDonald launched his bill at a garden centre in Armadale, joined by the pressure group Scothedge.

The group's campaign manager Colin Watson said it was not about being "anti-tree".

He stressed it was about those who used trees in an inappropriate and unreasonable way.

Mr Watson said: "People are the problem and the law must ensure that a small but significant group of selfish individuals cannot continue to behave in a way that the vast majority our society finds unacceptable."

Roseanna Cunningham, minister for community safety and legal affairs, said: "We remain committed to seeing legislation put in place that will ensure everyone with an interest in the issue knows their rights, responsibilities and remedies."

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