To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what plans he has to change the planning regulations on permitted development rights relating to the inserting of windows into existing walls of properties, in connection with the plans to control the height of hedges and other such trees; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what plans he has to bring the height of hedges and similar trees under planning law; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Mullin
Last month my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment launched a consultation paper asking people for their views on possible solutions to the problems caused by high hedges. The consultation paper includes the report of a study, carried out by officials, which looked at the scale and nature of the problems and the effectiveness of a range of options for dealing with them. The study suggested that bringing the height of hedges under planning law might be disproportionate because it would not be targeted on hedges which were causing problems. It would also have other practical difficulties.73W
The study did not consider changing planning regulations on permitted development rights relating to the inserting of windows into existing walls of properties.
We hope as many people as possible will respond to the consultation to help us decide whether more should be done to relieve this source of long-running and distressing neighbourhood disputes.