A homeowner who was plunged into darkness by her neighbour’s 30ft trees has emerged victorious from a four-year legal battle.
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.
But after failing to reach agreement with Mr Moreland on having them reduced in size she resorted to High Hedge laws.
A homeowner who was plunged into darkness by this 30ft trees has emerged victorious from a four-year legal battle
The huge tree that has caused the four-year dispute can be seen to the right of the white house
Oonagh Waugh, 63, was locked in a war of words with neighbour Alexander Moreland over trees and ivy plants on his property
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 asked 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.
Mrs Waugh had told how relations with her neighbour had deteriorated since initial discussions on the trees had started in August 2013.
She claimed Mr Moreland had been sympathetic to her and her husband’s complaints but no further action was made.
Mr Moreland had turned to the Scottish Government claiming bats could be sheltering in the trees and asked for a delay to the works.
The shadow cast on Mrs Waugh’s house during the day because of the 30ft tree blocking out all of the sunlight
She told North Lanarkshire Council: ‘Following Alex’s response to my husband engaging him in conversation about the trees my husband advised we were going to contact North Lanarkshire Council with application for council involvement regarding the trees surrounding his property. Alex ended the telephone contact.’
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.
Mr Moreland had written to the government outlining his opposition to the council’s order
‘There is also question marks over the question of bats within the trees and as yet there has been no confirmation from the council if there is indeed bats within these trees. ‘
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 agree with the council that the precautionary action required by the notice with regard to bat activity is an appropriate and proportionate response to the situation.
‘It should therefore be retained in the notice.
‘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.
‘I have considered the other matters raised, but they do not affect my conclusion.’