Proposed fee for high hedge complaints

Angus councillors have been asked to consider charging people who want to complain about their neighbours hedge being too high.

In a report which went before Angus Council’s Communities Committee as the Brechin Advertiser went to print, the council’s head of planning Vivien Smith recommended that a fee of £275 be charged for an application for a high hedge notice.

Mrs Smith said that currently, under the High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 a home owner or occupier could apply to the council if they felt their enjoyment of their property was adversely affected by the height of an adjacent hedge. She said that a complainer should try to resolve the matter themselves before they went to the council but that the act provided detailed information of the procedures to be followed by the local authority if a complaint was made.

She added that the act stated that an application must be accompanied by a relevant fee which could be in the region of £325 to £500 based on the time taken to consider the application but this did not allow for any possible enforcement thereafter. She said that councils across Scotland were not applying a standard fee.

“In the absence of accurate information to determine a fee it is suggested that £275 be adopted and that the workload associated with the implementation of the act be monitored for a year,” said Mrs Smith. She said that the introduction of a fee of £275 per application would result in a nominal amount of additional fee income to the service.