A MAN who claimed shadows from his neighbour’s trees ruined his ‘al fresco’ breakfasts has lost a battle to have them cut down.

Stephen Brown built a summerhouse and sitting area at the rear of his semi-detached property.

However, he complained 18ft trees belonging to his neighbour Elizabeth Ross caused problems along the perimeter of the house in Rosyth, Fife.

He complained to Fife Council under high hedge laws but was left frustrated when they said the trees could stay.

They also told him that the trees only impacted a small area of his garden and he had sunlight on his front garden.

He appealed the council decision to the Scottish Government who have now upheld the original decision meaning the trees will stay.

Appealing for the trees to be cut down, Mr Brown said: “The problem with the high hedge was not so apparent until we decided to develop and use the rear garden.

“We decided to erect a small summerhouse and laid a patio to enjoy a peaceful retreat.

“This area is now our preferred area to sit due to the change in noise levels and privacy in the front garden.

“Fife Council have stated that I have a large garden to the front but should not have the right to tell me I should be using it rather than the rear as stated in their refusal to my application.

“The council have also said it is not a ‘light issue’ for the garden and that any ‘overshadowing’ that may occur will be restricted to the morning.

“We enjoy an al fresco breakfast in the morning. Does this mean we have to accept our rear garden isn’t an area we can breakfast and take in the early morning sun?

“We are both retired and have no time constraints as to when we can use our garden spaces.”

Mrs Ross, 60, claimed she felt ‘victimised’ after Mr Brown launched his bid to have her trees cut down.

In a letter, she said: “Originally my neighbour complained about lack of light, now he wants privacy.

“His front hedge has been reduced in height and his rear garden has no privacy as several of the other neighbours can see directly into their garden.

“This application was totally unnecessary and has caused an extremely stressful time in my life since November 2019 and is still ongoing.

“I am extremely stressed, angry and at a loss to understand why Mr Brown has chosen to do this to me. I feel this is a personal attack, am being victimised and watched.”

Fife Council told the government: “It was considered on balance, that when comparing the large area of the amenity space available to the appellant, to that of the small size of amenity space impacted by the high hedge, the limited amount of overshadowing caused by the high hedge is not having an impact on the reasonable enjoyment one would expect.”

Rejecting the appeal bid, government reporter Trudi Craggs said: “I recognise that the appellant wants to use his summerhouse and patio in the morning period and I accept that the overshadowing caused by the hedge may have an impact on his enjoyment of both in the mornings.

“However, I do not consider that the overshadowing would adversely affect the enjoyment of the property as a whole given that for part of the day, which would be longer in the summer months, there would be no impact on the rear garden or the summer house.

“In addition the property benefits from the large front garden, with a seating area, that would get sunlight all day.”