THE victors of a 35-year-old hedge row say they are devastated after approved work to reduce 40ft leylandii left an “appalling mess”.
Audrey Alexander, from Balfron, Stirling, was delighted earlier this year when the council issued a High Hedge notice to owner Jeanette Robson, ordering her to cut the trees to half the height.
But Audrey says she and neighbours have been left with 20ft-high dead tree stumps still obscuring much of their view and hedges at their original height on either side.
The 55-year-old was even more astonished when the council examined the work and approved it.
The planning enforcement officer wrote: “I can confirm that all specimens planted in a straight line for the purposes of creating a hedge that runs along the boundary between 59 Dunmore Street and 11 and 15 Burns Begg Crescent, Balfron, have been reduced to below 6 metres in height.
“In view of the above I consider that the High Hedge Notice issued by the DPEA [Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals] has been complied with.”
Audrey said: “I’m disappointed and frankly shocked that the council are backing her up on this.
“She has cut the trees down to the arranged size but some at the back are still much higher, and the hedge at the sides is still at the original height.
“It’s a complete mess and I’m appalled with how it looks.
“I have done as much as I can do and thought we were coming to the end of this. It’s crazy that they are backing her up.”
Another neighbour, Callum Gordon, described the work as a “half-finished job”.
The 41-year-old said: “Our house and garden is probably what has been left most affected, as the trees which she has left at the original height still block out about a third of the sunlight.
“It looks dreadful, it’s not been finished tidily and the way it has been left is unacceptable.
“The main view from our house is still blocked. We were excited when the High Hedge notice came into effect because we thought there would be a big improvement.
“But work suddenly stopped on the trees and we wondered ‘Is that it?’
“On paper she has done what was asked – she has trimmed the ones that were classed as a hedge.
“But she has left something extremely ugly and is completely unaesthetic.”
Audrey has in the past claimed that the trees knock as much as £20,000 off the price of her property.
She added: “I haven’t got the money to take it to court. There is nothing else I can do.”
A spokeswoman for Stirling Council said: “I have spoken with our Planning Team who confirmed that they have inspected the premises and as the hedge now complies with the terms of the decision made by the DPEA (Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals) we are unable to comment any further at this time.”