HOMEOWNERS claim they have spent 20 YEARS fighting their neighbour after she ruined their view with a 50ft hedge.

Val Horton cherished her hilltop bungalow for its sweeping views of the idyllic countryside and fabled Solsbury Hill.

SWNS:South West News ServiceVal Horton cherished her hilltop bungalow for its sweeping views of the idyllic countryside[/caption]

SWNS:South West News ServiceVal used to be able to see the fabled Solsbury Hill from her home[/caption]

SWNS:South West News ServiceNow, her view is blocked by a row of giant leylandii trees[/caption]

But her dream was tarnished when neighbour Valerie Vivian planted a row of giant leylandii trees in 2001 in the garden of her home just outside of Bath, Somerset.

The fast-growing conifers shot up to heights of 50ft and now block the view completely.

The hill that used to be in Val’s view was immortalised by singer Peter Gabriel.

The 625ft summit – topped by an Iron Age fort and owned by the National Trust – was the inspiration for Gabriel’s first solo single in 1977.

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Val has spent 20 protesting the hedges along with neighbour Betty Kelley – who sadly died two years ago – but has now admitted defeat.

Under the High Hedges section of the Antisocial Behaviour Act, councils can order offending hedges to be cut if they are a “barrier to light or access”.

But for Val and her neighbours the law is useless because their homes still get enough sunlight and they don’t require access.

It means that Bath and North East Somerset Council have no power to order stubborn Mrs Vivian to give her hedge the chop.


Val told The Sun: “I used to be able to grow vegetables down the bottom of the garden but that’s now impossible because the trees just blocked out all the light.

“It’s been going on for so long now that we are all completely exhausted by the fight.

“For some the issue to have these trees removed has been too much and poor Betty passed away without ever seeing it resolved.

“New people have moved into the area and although they are aware of the situation, it’s not really an issue for them.

It’s been going on for so long now that we are all completely exhausted by the fight.

Local Val Horton

“The trees were there before they bought their homes and so they didn’t know just how beautiful the views of Solsbury Hill were before.

“There were originally three stands of trees but she recently took down the middle row of trees, but this hasn’t made any difference because the trees at the bottom of our gardens haven’t been touched.

“It is dreadful. They were only short when she put them in by they have just grown and grown and grown.

“When there were no conifers it was a wonderful vantage point.

“It was fantastic – we could sit in our dining room and it was brilliant.

“This has had a big impact on all of our lives – to look over and see a forest of trees is pretty awful.

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“But sometimes you have to admit defeat and that time has come.”

Mrs Vivian refused to comment when approached by The Sun.

Jon RowleyThe fast-growing conifers are still there today[/caption]

SWNS:South West News ServiceValerie Vivian planted the trees in 2001[/caption]

The hill that used to be in Val’s view was immortalised by singer Peter Gabriel

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