News In Focus
MSPs investigate whether high hedges law working
Whether the High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 is achieving its purpose is the subject of a new investigation by a Holyrood committee.
The Local Government & Communities Committee has begun a post-legislative scrutiny of how the legislation has operated in practice and whether it could be strengthened.
Under the Act, house owners or occupiers who claim that a neighbour's high hedge is interfering with their reasonable enjoyment of their property can apply to the local authority, if it agrees, to issue a notice requiring the hedge owner to take action to reduce the size of the hedge, failing which the authority would carry out the work itself at the hedge owner's expense. There is a right of appeal to Scottish ministers against decisions of an authority.
Questions in the committee's call for evidence include:
- Has the definition of a high hedge as set out in the Act proved helpful? If not, please provide details.
- Do you have any experience of the appeals procedure as set out in the Act?
- Do you have any comments on the enforcement procedures under a high hedge notice?
- Do you have any comments on fees and costs?
- Overall, are there any aspects of this Act which have had a positive or negative impact on your life?
- Any other issues relating to the Act which you wish to bring to the attention of the committee?
Convener Bob Doris MSP commented: “What our committee wants to know is whether the Act is working in practice. We want to hear from those with experience in this area so that we can give a considered view to the wider Parliament on whether or not the Act could be improved.”
Click here to view the call for evidence. The closing date for submissions is Monday 20 March 2017.