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Another Success For The Glasgow Law Practice

The Glasgow Law Practice has been successful in winning a bitter property dispute for one of our clients.

A lawyer whose leylandii trees formed a ‘tall, dark green wall’ over his neighbour’s garden will have to cut them to less than a third of their original height after a long-running dispute following intervention for the GLP. The dispute, which ended up in the Scottish government, saw GLP lodge the application for 79-year-old Phillip McAulay. His neighbour, Jonathan Heaney had refused to cut down the 15-metre-tall cypress trees, as his trees pre-dated the construction of his neighbour.

Dispute Over Trees

Mr McAulay claimed that the roof affected his quality of life and hindered the enjoyment of his home. Despite the council listening to the claim of Mr McAulay and agreeing that the tree should be cut down, defence lawyer Jonathan Heaney refused to do so, leading to the case being put in front of the Scottish government.

Mr Heaney refused to follow the South Lanarkshire council’s decision as he insisted that his £500,000 property had been built first. He wrote: “The trees have been on my property for a considerable period and pre-date my purchasing of the property.

“My understanding is that the trees also predate the construction of Mr McAulay’s property.”

He added: “As such, his property was built with the trees already in place, and it is difficult to see how any serious complaint about impacts on amenity can be made.”

An intervention from the Scottish government ruled that Mr Heaney had to cut the trees with a report saying: “’In the most recent correspondence on behalf of Mr Heaney, it is stated that he has received advice from an arboricultural expert that the trees would be likely to survive pruning to a height of four metres, especially as they have previously been pruned to that height and survived with reasonable vigour.

“He therefore has now offered to prune them to that height, which he considers will continue to offer screening between the respective properties.”

He added: “I consider that the suggested reduction in height to four metres would be sufficient to reduce loss of light and other impacts to an acceptable level in view of all the above circumstances and in line with the legislation and guidance.”

Legal Case

If your property is being affected by hedges, trees of any overgrowth, you can take legal action under the High Hedge (Scotland) Act, which came into force on April 1 last year, which aims to solve property disputes. The law allows councils to issue a “high hedge” notice if hedges or trees are cutting out light or preventing homeowners from getting the most from their property. Under the law, a ‘high hedge’ is formed by 2 or more trees or shrubs that are 2 metres or more.

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If you require advice regarding a property or a property dispute, contact our team of expert solicitors today using our online contact form.