A five-year battle over a neighbour's high hedge could soon end.

Barry Pickersgill will hear on Monday whether Kirklees Council will order the fast-growing Leylandii to be chopped back under new anti-social-behaviour powers.

The 61-year-old retired licensee has complained about two hedges that overlook the back of his home and block the light.

The Council's new high-hedge officer Ruth Perrin has recommended one be cut back to 2.5 metres but the other be left.

Mr Pickersgill, who lives at Peep Green Road, Hartshead, with his wife Sandra, said although he was pleased with the recommendations he thought they did not go far enough. "I am delighted they think the nearest hedge needs cutting," he said.

"But if the first hedge is cut down all we will see is the second one behind it. It will still spoil our enjoyment of our home and we still won't be able to see the open fields beyond. At one point the hedge was so high all you could see from the dining room table was hedge - no sky at all.

"Even now it's so dark we need the light on to eat - day or night."

He praised the legislation which gives hope to people whose lives are blighted by the menace of high hedges, saying he was the first person in Kirklees to fill out the new complaint forms.

Under the new powers councils can order owners of evergreen hedges to cut them back if the trees are found to block light or access to homes. They can face a £1,000 fine if they do not comply.

Kirklees planning and highways committee will vote on Monday over Mr Pickersgill's case. Both parties can then appeal against the decision.

To complain about a high hedge in Kirklees, householders must pay a £100 fee which falls to £20 for those receiving council tax benefits. The fee is refunded if the inquiry reveals the complaint is valid.

Last month the Telegraph & Argus revealed people who complain to Bradford Council about a neighbour's hedge being too high could be charged a £320 administration fee.

Councils can now order householders to chop a hedge down to size if it reaches more than two metres in height.

There are already 40 existing complaints to Bradford Council about hedges, but the head of development services, Michael Kirby, said officers would only intervene as a last resort.