In a further battle over trees between two neighbours the High Court has dismissed an application from one set of neighbours against the other neighbours alleging contempt of Court.

During the original proceedings one set of neighbours had given an undertaking to trim trees which the other neighbours allege were blocking their view.  The trimming was to occur up to twice a year, back to the then present height of the trees.  The neighbours were required to do the trimming at about each six months.  The other neighbours, whose view was interrupted by the trees, were concerned that the neighbours had not carried out the second trim and so sought to have the Court hold them in contempt and to fine them for breaching the undertaking. 

The Court held that the application was premature, because there had been no breach by the neighbours.  Although they were required to trim the trees to their then present height, that did not mean they had to keep the trees at that height constantly, trimming every single leaf or shoot that shot above that height.  They were only required to trim the trees twice a year and the time had not yet arrived for the second trimming.

The Court commented on the pedantic and immature behaviour of both sets of neighbours and that they should behave in a more adult and neighbourly way in the future in relation to the trees.

The neighbours that brought the application for contempt were ordered to pay costs to the other neighbours.

Alan Knowsley