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High hedges and neighbours

We are told that after years of waiting some new legislation may be coming to offer help to the victims of the growers of high hedges, though at a price that may put people off ("Councils warn cost may hamper high hedge laws", The Herald, December 11).

Why is it so difficult for our lawmakers to come up with legislation that clearly identifies the responsibility of those who cause so much distress to others with their high hedges?

I have several neighbouring properties abutting mine, some of which have leylandii hedges amounting to more than 50 metres in length and of heights varying from two to three metres.

I generally have to pay over £200 annually just to remove the growth that overreaches into my property. I am never clear of the mess this makes. It is not only the top growth that offends, but leylandii roots, while shallow, travel far and some press hard against the side of my house.

Damage to my drains is a real risk. It is not easy to grow much in my borders as these trees take all the goodness from the soil.

Such hedges have a negative impact on the marketability of one's property.

I am sure such hedges are grown because they provide a cheap alternative to walls and fences and, unlike the latter, are not subject to planning permission. Try erecting a fence or wall over two metres and you'll soon know about it.

It is surely unarguable that the owners of high hedges have a moral responsibility to their neighbours, and in my view it is high time it was deemed they had a legal one.

A S Drummond,

8 Rowan Place,

Nairn.

With reference to the proposed legislation on parking on pavements, I remember being taught about the utilitarian approach, which argues that any action is morally justified if it promotes the greater good ("Tougher parking laws get residents' support", The Herald, December 13 & Letters, December 14).

The extreme example given by our tutor was that of summarily executing anyone who blocked a pavement or road, blocking the free and unhindered passage of pedestrians or emergency vehicles.

A bit drastic perhaps, but the authorities would only have to do it once.

Rose Harvie,

Afton Cottage,

82 Bonhill Road,

Dumbarton.

May I calm the fears of Hugh Andrew (Letters, December 14), who appears to be concerned that pavement policies are beneath the Government, by reminding him that pavements are beneath all of us, except for his other troublesome issue, the seagulls, that wisely fly above them, while no doubt despairing about the noisy, messy humans down below.

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road,

Stirling.

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