A WOMAN who claimed her neighbour’s 30ft trees had ruined her garden has claimed victory in a four-year battle to have them cut down.

Oonagh Waugh, 63, was locked in a war of words with neighbour Alexander Moreland over trees and ivy plants on his property.

Mrs Waugh claimed the garden of her home in Carnbroe, Lanarkshire, had been left in darkness by the "dominant and overbearing" trees.

After failing to reach agreement with Mr Moreland on having them reduced in size she resorted to High Hedge laws.

Officials from North Lanarkshire Council had backed her and ordered the trees be lopped in May.

But Mr Moreland had turned to the Scottish Government, claiming bats could be sheltering in the trees and asking for a delay to the works.

A government reporter has now allowed a temporary delay but insisted the trees should still be cut down to size.

Mr Moreland had written to the government outlining his opposition to the council’s order.

He said: “The notice outlines that there might be birds nesting within the trees. With the bird breeding season spanning march until August we do not feel we could proceed with the notice over his period without negatively impacting the ecology."

Government reporter Richard Hickman said: “While the tree has only a low level of suitability for bat roosting, as bats are a protected species it is essential that adequate safeguards are put in place.

“I conclude that this high hedge action should be retained, but a revised notice issued with a later date for compliance, and omitting the requirement for an experienced ecologist to check the trees for nesting birds as the breeding season will be over."