If you are troubled by a neighbouring hedge, the best way to deal with the issue is to discuss it amicably and to agree a solution with your neighbour.
For this reason, the law requires people to have taken all reasonable steps to try to settle their high hedge dispute for themselves before making a complaint.
The council's responsibility
Provided you have tried and exhausted all reasonable avenues for resolving your dispute with your neighbour, and if the hedge is evergreen and is over two metres in height, you can make a complaint.
- High Hedges Complaint Form (PDF Document, 0.27 Mb)
Our role is to determine whether, in the words of the legislation, the hedge is adversely affecting your reasonable enjoyment of your property and find a balance between the competing interests of you and the hedge owner, as well as the interests of the wider community.
- The legislation only covers evergreen hedges - not single trees or deciduous hedges.
- You do not have to get permission to grow a hedge above two metres.
- The legislation does not require all hedges to be cut down to a height of two metres.
- The legislation does not guarantee access to uninterrupted light.
- We cannot require the hedge to be removed.
If we consider that the complant justified, a formal notice will be served upon the hedge owner which will set out what they must do to the hedge to solve the problem. Failure to carry out the works could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.
There is a fee of £350 to investigate a high hedge complaint. A reduced fee of £50.00 is payable if you can prove that you receive Income Support, Pension Credit, Job Seekers Allowance (income based), Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support.
If complaints from neighbouring properties regarding the same hedge are received together then a single £350 fee is payable, but separate forms will have to be completed by each individual complainant.
Complaints will not be investigated until the appropriate fee has been received and no refunds will be made once any administrative or investigative work has started.
More information on high hedge complaints
Advice on negotiating in respect of high hedges can be found in the leaflet “Over the garden hedge” produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Some solicitors may offer a set amount of initial free advice, either by email, over the telephone or through personal interview, while some membership organisations such as the CountryLand and Business Association or SAGA provide members with advice on legal issues.
If your home insurance policy comes with legal cover they may be able to help, or you could contact Citizens Advice Bureau
|FOI 3423||1st Oct 2013||High Hedges|
Last updated: Wed 13th April, 2016 @ 14:13