This law/bylaw should be repealed immediately. Why? Case in point:
It gives a malicious neighbour the opportunity to have a Council jobsworth pursue you on the neighbours behalf, with malice aforethought, and make your life an unwarranted hell, for what amounts to two or three years.
The jobsworth is not obliged to listen to what you reasonably have to say and automatically sides with the malicious neighbour in assuming that you are naturally in the wrong – even if you have never actually ever met that neighbour, your hedge is trimmed twice a year to a modest height, it is over 25 years old (planted long before this unjust law was even dreamed-up), is dead at the base and was there when you bought the house!
You will be falsely accused of 'wickedly planting the hedge deliberately and especially to annoy the neighbour', and sundry other off-the-wall 'crimes'. Jobsworth will stomp all around your garden, officiously 'inspecting' this and that, will tell you what you can and can't grow, and even demand to come into your home to have a further snooping session on the off-chance he can find something else to report to another agency.
The jobsworth will even blame you for the angle of the sun. And then threaten you with an ASBO!
This is despite the fact you have just been living quietly in your home, minding your own business, caring for your disabled relatives.
In order to get said malicious neighbour and Council jobsworth off your back you will probably have to take out a bank loan to unneccessarily pay for a commercial company to come in and officially cut your hedge, just to prove once and for all that it is now officially cut; for which hundreds of pounds you will have to find from your Carers Allowance to service the financial debt.
Net result: the Council are judge, jury and executioner just on someone else's say-so; and two disabled people are unable to have their summer holiday and have a break from all this upset, because there is no money left from an already stretched budget. Your peace and quiet and your once pleasant garden have all been violated and tarnished – who wants to even see it from the window, let alone sit out there, now?
The ultimate irony is that you will probably be able to point out to the jobsworth that just over the boundary of your garden the Council land also has a Leylandii hedge – except that (unlike yours) their hedge has not been maintained in any way whatsoever, and is three or four times the height and breadth of yours, as the Council have not cut their own hedge, even once, for the past 16+ years…..
Why is this idea important?
This is important because for the simple fact that you can be just quietly minding your own business in your own home and these people, for their own unknown reasons, can make your life a misery just because this law allows them to. It can happen to anyone of us as long as this ill-conceived and unjust busybody law remains on the Statute Books.
Leylandii hedges were a garden fashion a quarter of a century ago. Fashion moves on in gardening as in clothing or interior design, etc, and people now have moved on. Yet this outdated, badly drafted and cruel law remains, and is being used in situations for which it was never intended, and giving power to the local bully.
With this law you cannot be presumed innocent and receive a fair hearing. Plus, the bureaucratic process can be neverending – it has the potential to restart and go on for years.
Please REPEAL this law so no-one else has to go through this intrusive nightmare.