Neighbour dispute

Today at 10:32

Laurel HedgePosted: Yesterday at 22:25

Hi ..new to this forum and would like some advice on a laurel hedge that was planted several years ago. This laurel replaced a privet hedge due to an issue of subsidence and is now shared between us and the neighbours. For the first time I was involved in helping out to trim this laurel. Previously this was carried out by my neighbour who is 79 years old. We lived in a shared flat conversion. The couple next door, who live in a house, both in their mid sixties have also done their fair share. Both parties worked from their respective sides and each took their turn to maintain the chosen height.

This year, both the parties and my elderly neighbour had an attempt to trim it. The height was unsatisfactory and the  laurel needed thinning down a bit. A discussion ensued between the neighbours and my neighbour and they both agreed a certain height (should technically be a metre as it is in the front of the house) but the neighbour next door wishes to maintain it about 6 inches higher so we have gone along with this.

The laurels were planted professionally about a foot apart. It has grown quite profusely over the years but at one point it has left a wide gap, 30cm apart at the bottom rising to a conical shape of about 35 cm. This morning I proceeded to trim the laurel, reducing the height as briefed by my neighbour and also cut off lots of scraggly bits and generally thinned it out, not much but where it needed it In order that it looked neat and flushed. 

Lo behold I received a letter from the couple next door expressing concern that I have created a hole without consulting them. Further more they requested that I buy a laurel and plant it in this gap. The gap has always been there. The weeds around this gap have been cleared out so perhaps it is more prominent now. It was not my intention to create this hole as they put it. Everyone I consulted have asked me to ignore this. I can't help feeling provoked and am quite annoyed. I don't wish to enter into neighbour disputes. This lady has had run ins with all the other neighbours who have commented on her being extremely rude. Does anyone think she is worthy of a reply and what is my legal standing. 

Thanks

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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
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  • WaysideWayside Posts: 594

    How long is the hedge?

    It's hard to imagine a hole without a picture.  Considering each laurel is a foot apart, I can't really imagine it, unless one plant had died.  

    If a plant has died, then I don't see the harm in trying to swap in another, but it may have a hard time competing with established plants.

    You say technically it should be a metre.  That's bunkum.  A high hedge is considered one over two metres.  Fencing bordering a public highway is limited to one metre.

    I assume you want it low because of a front window or something.

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=408

    I recently planted a hedge near a boundary, I really wanted to plant it on the boundary line, but that requires agreement between both parties, which is hard to attain in my case because it's a rental property.  So I've stepped it back.  We have a hedge on the other side of our boundary that needs trimming, and that's become a bug bear.  Learning from that, I've gone for something more slow growing, and easily trimmed.

    Last edited: 08 June 2016 11:44:22

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 11,965

    SO FAR AS I KNOW THERE IS NO LAW AGAINST MAKING HOLES, EVEN IF YOU HAD MADE ONE.

    YOU HAVE JOINED THE HAPPY BAND OF PEOPLE WHO GAVE AR******S FOR NEIGHBOURS.

    DO REPLY. SHE WILL GET HER KNICKERS INTO AN INCREASINGLY TIGHT TWIST IF YOU DON'T.

    INVITE HER ROUND TO YOUR SIDE AND ASK HER TO POINT OUT THE POINTS WHERE THE LAUREL HAS BEEN NEWLY PRUNED. IF THERE ARE NONE. IF THERE ARE CLEAR MARKS WHICH SHE COULD IF SHE WISHED INTERPRET AS HOLE MAKING THEN JUST REPLY THAT YOU WILL DESIST FROM PRUNING AGAIN UNTIL SHE IS AVAILABLE FOR OVERSEEING THE WORKS. 

    LAURELS GROW LIKE THE CLAPPERS. SHE WILL SOON TIRE OF HAVING TO DRAG HERSELF AWAY FROM HER BRIDGE PARTY OR JUNK IN THE ATTIC PROGRAMMES EVERY COUPLE OF WEEJS TO STAND AND WATCH YOU VERY VERY SLOWLY AND WITH THREE CONFIRMATIONS FROM HER THAT YOU ARE CUTTING EACH BRANCH IN EXACTLY THE CORRECT PLACE.

    MAKE A JOKE OF IT TO YOURSELF AND TO OTHERS. BUT NOT TO HER. SHE DOESN'T SEE HERSELF AS OTHERS SEE HER, TO PARAPHRASE ROBERT BURNS.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 5,850

    I agree with Pansy. Do it face to face and very politely and calmly. Try to catch her as she's passing or leaving the house as that appears less confrontational than marching up to her door.

    The fact that they wrote a letter and didn't speak to you directly indicates one of the "knickers too tight" brigade right enough. 

    Be calm. image

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 3,802

    You could always just tell her that what you have done is to prune it to encourage new and thicker growth because it was looking quite gappy.

    Give it a bit of feed and water and the hedge will romp away. Remind her of the old adage 'growth follows the knife' and that an individual laurel will easily make 5 - 6' across given time - so a small hole like that will quickly fill.

    Sound like you know what you are talking about - because she clearly doesn't... 

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    I just wanted to point out as you are a new member that Pansey isn't SHOUTING in anyway but has eyesight problems and struggles to read the forum at present. This is why she uses capital letters! I didn't want you to think her reply overly rude as I know in some forums the use of capital letters all the time can be quite aggressive.

    I'd send a note back to your neighbour asking that if she has any problems she should discuss it face to face in a mutually convenient meeting with ALL neighbours concerned with the maintenance of this hedging. Instruct her that you will not respond to any further letters as it is not in the best interest of the hedge but thank her (because it will really throw her) for showing such concern for the well being of the hedge.

    Laurel will grow very quickly and the gap will soon fill. By the time you get a meeting unless she deliberately goes out of her way to attack the laurel it'll have already mostly filled in!

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 11,965

    THANK YOU CLARINGTON, YES I'M NOT SHOUTING. IF I HAVE TO SHOUT I'LL USE THE UNDERLINE BUTTON AS WELL.

    TOPBIRD. "GROWTH FOLLOWS THE KNIFE" SOUNDS A WEE BIT INTIMIDATING. image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 3,802

    Never thought of it like that Pansy - "grow you bu$$er grow - or it's the compost bin for you.... "

    That usually frightens 'em into action tooimage

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Muddle-UpMuddle-Up Posts: 11,101

    Fascinating problem...but probably not for you right now.  image

    Pansy has some really good points to make, and pp agrees.  So do I.  Don't respond by a letter, that's just pandering to her modus operandum.  You need to take control, and writing a letter just keeps the ball in the neighbours court...meet her ( craftily ) ....either out in the garden, or when she's in her way in or out, and don't be confrontational.  Just smile, and say something like 'Heck! What do YOU suggest we do about this?'  Wait for her response, nod politely, listen to her rantings, and then suggest you all get together with the OTHER neighbour to have a discussion over a bottle of wine, or a cup of tea.......put her on the spot....she may not want to be seen as the bad guy....

    Aberdeenshire, NE Scotland 🌞
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 11,965

    I DO A LOT OF THAT TALK TOO.

    GROW! - ENCOURAGING.

    GROW! - IRRITATED.

    GROW!- ANGRY.

    GROW!  LAST CHANCE.

    IF THE UNDERLININGS AND INITIALS FAIL TO APPEAR THAT JOKE WILL FALL FLAT ON ITS FACE.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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