Council to act as arbiter over neighbourly hedge disputes

A new law introduced by the Scottish Government has led to Moray Councillors taking an adjudication role over neighbourly disputes.

For the next year Moray Council’s planning committee will take responsibility for dealing with disputes over the height of hedges. The move comes after the High Hedges (Scotland) Act was passed at Holyrood earlier this month, giving local councils the authority to settle arguments between neighbours.

Moray residents can now apply for a ‘high hedge notice’ to be served on a neighbour – but only after being able to demonstrate that every attempt has been made to reach an amicable solution.

Cases can be referred to Moray Council’s Planning Committee who will then give both parties their decision along with a deadline by which they must comply.

A Council spokesman said: “We have had a few cases of complaints over high hedges in the recent past and this change in the law will assist both parties in such matter to arrive at a solution.

“The council has produced a clear set of guidelines distilled from the Scottish Government recommendations and these are on our website.”

Failure to comply with a Council decision could lead to the local authority carrying out the work required and recovering their costs.

The legislation defines a high hedge as one that is over 6feet tall. Details on the new procedures can be obtained at or by e-mailing

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