Wednesday 17 January 2018

Harry Potter author causes 'traffic chaos' by trimming her 30ft hedges

Harry Potter JK Rowling
Harry Potter JK Rowling

David Kearns

JK Rowling has riled her neighbours after she caused “traffic chaos” by having her garden hedges trimmed.

The Harry Potter author has been having her 30 foot high hedges trimmed this week but local people near her home in Edinburgh are not happy about it.

Angry residents have said it has bought "chaos" to the area, as four way traffic lights have caused major tailbacks on the surrounding roads.   

"The hedges are obviously to stop people looking into her property," one neighbour said.

"It's just taking ages for them to cut the bush back. The gardeners have been here three days and have finished the front of the garden.

"It's chaos around there. The lights are taking too long to change, especially on the side roads. There is long queues tailing back from the lights."   

JK Rowling (49) has had a number of run in with her neighbours since moving into her Edinburgh home
JK Rowling (49) has had a number of run in with her neighbours since moving into her Edinburgh home

The multi-millionaire author was given permission to erect temporary traffic lights while gardeners cut back the huge Leyland cypress bush outside her luxury Edinburgh home.

The Leyland cypress is widely used as a quick-growing hedge or screen, and can to grow as high as 50ft if left untended.

This is not the first time Ms Rowling (49) has courted controversy with  her neighbours.

In 2011, she flattened the €1.4 million house next door to her mansion to enlarge her garden.

The announcement caused a stir, with one local resident commenting: “It is not everyday you hear someone seeking approval from their neighbours to flatten a £1million house to make their garden bigger.”  

The following year she won planning permission to build two luxurious €290,000 Hogwarts-style tree houses in her garden, despite protests from local residents.

The two-storey structures are on stilts and feature secret tunnels, a rope bridge and turreted roofs.   

At the time, residents living nearby lodged objections with Edinburgh City Council, claiming the size of the tree houses meant they would be seen from the road and would  be “quite out of character with the area”.

The author bought her 17th century mansion for just over €2.3 million five and a half years ago.

She lives there with her husband Dr Neil Murray, their two young children and her 19-year-old daughter from her first marriage.

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