Harry Potter and the towering hedges: JK Rowling angers neighbours after 'leylandii trimming' closes 'entire street'

25 January 2024, 15:51

Harry Potter author JK Rowling
Harry Potter author JK Rowling. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

JK Rowling's neighbours have hit out at work to trim the giant hedges at her home.

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The Harry Potter novelist required access to the road next to her Edinburgh mansion to be restricted so gardening works can take place.

But neighbours at her £2.2million Edinburgh claim that it has caused a road to close and made children late for school.

The hedge trimming at the author's home occurs every three years and has seen a temporary four-way traffic lights installed. The work is being carried out between 7:30am and 3:30pm, which is said to have frustrated parents.

JK Rowling who is at the centre of a neighbourhood row over work on her hedges
JK Rowling who is at the centre of a neighbourhood row over work on her hedges. Picture: Alamy

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One mother told The Times that traffic jams as a result of the work caused her five minute journey to take as long as half an hour.

She said: “To cause traffic to come to a standstill at rush hour to cut a hedge doesn’t make sense. [It has resulted] in my child and many others being late.

“I can’t understand why the work can’t be done at the weekend or [at less busy times] like 9.30am until 2.30pm. This happens a couple of times a year and is unreasonable.”

Another added: “Why can’t they do it in the February breaks? They have hours through the day when the roads are quiet. No one else gets the street shut down to cut their hedge.”

A spokesperson for JK Rowling said: "The hedge cutting at J.K. Rowling’s residence is annual maintenance that involves necessary traffic management for the safety of the general public.

"The intention is always to carry out the work with least disruption and the timing requires co-ordination and agreement with Edinburgh City Council.

"The work would ideally be scheduled in July, during the summer holidays, but due to other maintenance work in the area, it was agreed to take place this week instead."

In 2015, JK Rowling was criticised by her neighbours when she got her 30ft hedges cut back.

In 2012, she also angered residents when she built two 40ft high Hogwarts-style tree houses in her back garden for her children. Furious neighbours lodged complaints but the star successfully won planning permission.