Edinburgh man in row over paying to cut back overhanging trees from neighbouring caravan site

An Edinburgh man is embroiled in a dispute with a neighbouring caravan site over who should pay to maintain overhanging trees which he claims are blocking sunlight to his garden and pose a safety risk.

Saturday, 7th August 2021, 4:55 am

Hugh Stewart, of Howdenhall Court, says he was forced to spend £600 to pay someone to cut back the trees about two years ago because bosses at Mortonhall Caravan & Camping Park refused to do so – but he says he can not afford to keep doing that.

Mr Stewart, 75, who has lived in the house for about 20 years, said: “The trees are hanging about 15ft into my garden. They are hanging over my side and a neighbour’s side.

“I have been going on about it to them (the caravan park) for about six years. The trees go up about 50-60ft, maybe higher. They are about 12 to 15 metres away from my house and they are massive with thick trunks. If one falls it will take the whole building out.

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The overhanging trees.

“I can not afford to pay for cutting them back. I just want them to cut them back and make it safe. We have to pick up all of the leaves too when it’s windy, and the grass at the side of my house is like walking on a swamp because the light is blocked out by the trees. I am just really fed up with it all. If they cut them back we would all be happy.”

Generally, people have the right to cut down tree branches overhanging their land but in the case of payment, this tends to be resolved through agreement with the other party.

In June, a dispute broke out over a divisive tree in part of Sheffield when a neighbour decided to saw it exactly in half after becoming frustrated with branches hanging over his driveway.

The overhanging trees from the neighbouring caravan park.

Bharat Mistry and his family were left gutted when his next door neighbours called in tree surgeons to cut half the branches of the 16ft tall Fir Tree which stood there for 25 years. Pictures of the tree went viral.

The action came after a year-long dispute between Mr Mistry and the neighbours, both in their 70s.

Mr Mistry said the couple complained birds in the tree were too noisy and making a mess of the drive of their bungalow in the quiet cul-de-sac.

And last October, Harry Potter Author JK Rowling had part of a Capital road closed to traffic - so she could work her magic on a massive hedge surrounding her mansion.

Hugh Stewart says he was forced to spend £600 to pay someone to cut back the trees about two years ago because bosses at Mortonhall Caravan & Camping Park refused to do so. Pictures: Lisa Ferguson

The 30 foot tall Leylandii hedge towers over pavements near her 17th century home and helps to screen the property from onlookers.

They required trimming after claims last year that they obstructed street lights.

A team of tree surgeons spent a week trimming the hedge back at the top and sides using an 80ft cherry picker.

The work took place more than a year after officials from Edinburgh City Council wrote to Miss Rowling to ask her to have the trees trimmed as a "matter of urgency".

Mr Stewart says the trees block out sunlight and claims they pose a safety risk.

In 2015, officials at the Deer Park Golf and Country Club in Livingston were told to cut down trees after they had been locked in a dispute with John Cochrane, 64, over claims massive leylandii were ruining his garden and blocking sunlight.

Mr Cochrane had complained the hedges on the course’s sixth hole forced him to switch on lights in his house during the day due to the loss of light.

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