Feud over hedge could cost 50,000 pounds

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TWO neighbours embroiled in a 15-year feud over a hedge were urged by a Court of Appeal judge yesterday to end their dispute.

Lady Justice Butler-Sloss made her plea at the end of the latest round of a battle which could cost Charles Stanton, 86, and Michael Jones, 66, both of Selly Oak, Birmingham, more than pounds 50,000 in costs and damages.

Mr Stanton is claiming pounds 32,000 compensation for trespass and damage after Mr Jones pruned the hedge in 1990. Mr Stanton had agreed to cut back Leylandii trees in the hedge from 35ft to 25ft then Mr Jones, tired of the 'depressing winter gloom' they caused, reduced them by a further 9ft.

Mr Stanton yesterday lost an appeal against a Birmingham county court ruling that Mr Jones had a right to cut the trees' height. The case must now go back to decide if Mr Jones exceeded his rights to 'maintain and repair' the hedge and is liable to pay damages.