Forest Gate neighbours at war over high hedge

Dr Michael Pelling stands in front of his house's high hedge, which is upsetting his neighbour (righ

Dr Michael Pelling stands in front of his house's high hedge, which is upsetting his neighbour (right) - Credit: Archant

Two neighbours are locked in a fued over a seven-metre high hedge which one says is blocking her light.

Dr Christine Hodgson

Dr Christine Hodgson - Credit: Archant

The hedge runs along the front fence of Dr Michael Pelling at his home in Avenue Road, Forest Gate.

His neighbour, Dr Christine Hodgson, first complained to Newham Council about the hedge in 2008 on the grounds that it blocks out natural light and is a bar to her growing anything in her front garden.

She wants it cut down to two metres in line with legislation.

Dr Pelling fought Newham Council over the complaint and went to the High Court for a judicial review in 2009.


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Although the case was concluded last year, Dr Pelling did not hear anything from the council until April this year.

He was informed of another complaint by Dr Hodgson about the height of his hedge.

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Dr Pelling said: “I feel the council is conducting some kind of vendetta and is not behaving impartially. I shall fight this to the bitter end.

“The amount of money Newham is spending on the matter - I estimate of the order of £20,000 - does give rise to legitimate public concern.”

He said although Dr Hodgson is complaining about the impact of his hedge on her light, the growth of plants in her own front garden are blocking considerable light too.

Dr Hodgson said: “The High Hedge 2004 Act says plants on the perimeter should be no higher than two metres. Michael’s must be at least 22 feet (almost seven metres).

“I’m a keen gardener and I can’t grow anything. I work in my front downstairs room and have to have electric light.”

She is also at a loss to understand why the council is not enforcing the law.

A spokeswoman for Newham Council said: “We have received a complaint from a resident regarding a hedge at a property in Forest Gate. We have contacted both parties involved to advise.”

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