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Hedge dispute plans backed

Plans to tackle disputes over high hedges have been endorsed by a Holyrood committee.

Legislation should promote good neighbourly behaviour and provide a solution where other avenues have failed, MSPs say.

Scotland is not covered by specific laws in this area but they have been adopted in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

The High Hedges Bill was lodged by SNP MSP Mark McDonald at the Scottish Parliament in October, 10 years after action was first suggested by the then Labour MSP Scott Barrie.

Kevin Stewart, convener of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee, said: "Our committee heard first-hand the impact that disputes over high hedges can have in communities and on the lives of ordinary people up and down the country.

"This Bill provides an accessible local solution to address these disputes where all other avenues have failed.

"We share the hope of those who gave evidence to our committee that the mere existence of legislation will promote 'good neighbour' behaviour."

The Bill proposes a definition of a high hedge at two metres, formed by a row or two of evergreens, such as the fast-growing leylandii, which forms a barrier to light.

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