Posted: 15/09/2014 at 21:57
I feel your pain for wanting your privacy back again!! I'm using cherry laurel (Rotundifolia rather than Portuguese laurel) to block out annoying overlooking neighbours windows and it can't grow fast enough for me!! However I did buy mine at about 3ft so we're talking 4 yrs for them to now be at 15ft high..
I didn't prune much off at all until a year ago and then cut back the taller branches which has really helped them bush out this year and create a dense hedge. I think you'd be ok nipping out the taller stems and leaving them for a year or two to get some height and then pruning/shaping to create the density and structure you want - my unprofessional opinion of course but has worked for my mum too who now has a lovely Portuguese laurel as a hedge in her front garden.