Our neighbour's towering 13ft hedge blocks sun & leaves our house freezing…we dumped surprise on doorstep as revenge | The Sun

FUMING homeowners say their neighbour's towering 13ft hedge blocks the sun and leaves their homes freezing – so they dumped a surprise on his doorstep as revenge.

David Linkie, Jeremy Jones and a third resident on their Edinburgh street complained to the council about their neighbour Barry Rice's hedge.

They said that the hedge was "dangerous and expensive" to maintain and left their gardens "cold and dull".

When the council declined to take action, the neighbours took matters into their own hands – by hacking the the hedge down to size themselves.

The fuming residents then dumped six bags full of branches and clippings on the kerb outside Mr Rice's house, EdinburghLive reports.

Now the three neighbours have won an appeal, with planners ordering Mr Rice to trim the hedge down to three metres in height.

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Planning inspector Amanda Chisholm found that the hedge "adversely affected" neighbours' "reasonable enjoyment" of their gardens.

But Mr Rice argued that it was "unreasonable for anyone to expect full sunshine all day long".

In his initial letter to the council, David Linkie wrote that cutting down the hedge would "help to reduce the cost of heating the lower back end of the house".

He added that the towering hedge stopped his family "better enjoying our outdoor area for relaxing, socialising or exercising" – and that it made his conservatory "frequently cold and dull to sit in".

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After cutting the hedge themselves, the neighbours said: "There is clearly high risk involved due to the height, volume of work involved and using dangerous and sharp hedge trimming tools required to undertake the job."

They claimed that Mr Rice had disposed of the bags they left on his doorstep – but would not accept any more.

Mr Rice said that the hedge "does not seriously impact the reasonable enjoyment of their properties, as the maintenance required is only once or perhaps twice a year".

He said: "Owning a garden requires all year round attention but doesn’t appear to have any serious impact on reasonable enjoyment.

"The sound of children and adults enjoying their garden can be heard throughout the year.

"Everyone’s gardens suffer from shading at different times of the day and evening as the sun rotates.

"It is therefore unreasonable for anyone to expect full sunshine all day long."

Mr Rice added: "The six bags left on our kerb side for our disposal fitted into our brown garden waste bin and returned as requested.

"My wife felt it was unnecessary for two men to approach our door and speak to her when she was on her own, making her feel intimidated and claiming that it was our responsibly to dispose of the cuttings left by them."

Mr Rice was ordered to cut down the hedge to three metres by next March at the latest.

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The hedge will then be allowed to grow back as tall as 3.68m – just 22cm shorter than it is now.

Edinburgh Council has been contacted for comment.

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