Neighbour ‘war’ over 26ft hedge that turned idyllic village into ‘battlefield’ finally over after three years

Garden hedge (stock)
Neighbour ‘war’ over 26ft hedge that turned idyllic village into ‘battlefield’ finally over after three years (stock pic)
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 19/01/2024

- 15:23

Updated: 19/01/2024

- 15:35

The humongous hedge blocks out sunlight from other another neighbour's home

A three-year “war” between neighbours over a 26ft hedge that turned a village into a “battlefield” is finally over.

Dr Andrew Cross, 64, has been at loggerheads with his millionaire neighbours since 2021 over a humongous hedge that blocks out sunlight from his home and stops him from seeing scenic countryside views.

The ongoing dispute between the GP and property boss Mark Dyer and his wife resulted in a series of court and planning rows, with the judge describing the row as turning the tiny Surrey hamlet of Brook into a “battlefield”.

The row began in 2021 when the Dyers built a helipad in the field next to their mansion before they later accused Cross and others of being a “menacing gang” of neighbours towards them.

Hedge in garden

The dispute over the hedge began in 2021 (stock pic)


This then escalated into a row over the gigantic hedge opposite Cross’ house.

After a court hearing, the 64-year-old has been declared victorious in the ongoing row after a judge said the "healthy and vigorous" hedge must be chopped back.

The 26ft tall wall of Leylandii must be cut back to a height of around 16ft.

The Dyers, both 59, tried to challenge the ruling but this was dismissed by Judge Karen Walden-Smith.


Speaking outside court after the ruling, Cross said: “My family and I are delighted with this decision, which comes almost three years after my high hedge complaint was lodged.

“The hedge is less than 15 feet from my front boundary. The hedge towers above the chimney pots of my home, reducing light, and has a very overpowering effect on the entire frontage of my property.”

The Dyers, who live in a sprawling country home with a pool and tennis court, have put in more than 50 planning applications.

The couple asked for an injunction against Cross and three others - retired bank executive David Small and his wife Susan, plus charity trustee Patricia Webb - to prevent them from objecting to their planning proposals.

Their lawyers said their neighbours had a “personal vendetta” against the pair, whose expansion plans were reasonable.

However, the neighbours’ lawyers said that the pair were portraying their innocent acts in a negative light.

In July, the judge rejected the injunction and ordered the Dyers to pay for their neighbours’ legal bills, which are estimated to be around £200,000.

In her appeal decision, the planning inspector said it the hedge caused a “significant obstruction of daylight and sunlight to habitable rooms' at Dr Cross' home, called Cannons.

Brook, Surrey

The feuding neighbours live in Brook, Surrey

Wikimedia Commons

They said: “There is no right to a view beyond a hedge, but it might be reasonable to expect that a property should not suffer serious visual intrusion.

“In this case, the height and length of hedge obscures most of the field of view from the windows and the frontage of Cannons.

“In my judgment, the height of the hedge therefore has a harmful and overbearing and over-dominant effect on the outlook from Cannons.

“The current height of the hedge is highly likely to cause an unacceptable loss of light to the garden and habitable rooms of the complainant's property.

“I also consider the hedge is a serious visual intrusion into the field of view from Cannons.

“I therefore conclude that taking these together the hedge adversely affects the reasonable enjoyment of the complainant's property.”

You may like