High hedges

We can get involved in a dispute if the height of a hedge is causing you concern and you have been unable to find a solution with your neighbours.

The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary and help to bring in new wildlife to your garden, but the wrong hedge can cause you or your neighbours problems, such as loss of light.

We can only get involved after you have tried to find a solution with your neighbours and failed. You will need to provide evidence of these attempts.

What powers we have to help you

We have power under the Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act to become involved in judging if the height of a hedge is adversely affecting the 'reasonable enjoyment' of your property.  In most cases, this will be where a hedge is creating a loss of light to your property.

We can be involved if:

  • Your attempts to find a solution with your neighbours have failed
  • You are the current, or prospective, owner or occupier of a private property
  • The hedge is a semi-evergreen or evergreen hedge
  • The hedge, when measured from the natural ground level, is more than two metres high
  • The concern about the hedge relates to the height of the hedge

What you need to do before you make a formal complaint to us

Try and find a solution with your neighbours and make a note of these efforts

  • Go through the steps outlined in pdf icon 'Over the garden hedge' [1Mb].
  • Involving us should be your last resort and we will return your application and fee if you have not made reasonable efforts to resolve the matter with your neighbours

Making a formal complaint

Before you complain, we would ask you to read pdf icon 'High Hedges: Complaining to the Council' [379kb].

You can then download the pdf icon complaint form [88kb] and pdf icon guidance notes [57kb]. They explain the process you would be entering into if you want to involve us.

We charge a fee of £335 towards our costs. There is no procedure for claiming this back from the hedge owner. Once we accept your application, we will not refund the fee.

What happens next

  • We will consider if it meets the legal tests
  • We will write to you to explain the process
  • We will send a copy of your complaint form to your neighbours and give them 28 days to try and reach a solution with you
  • If you do not reach a solution, your neighbours can give us information that they would like us to consider
  • We will send you a copy of the information and give you a further 28 days to find a solution with your neighbours
  • If you still cannot find a solution, we will make a site visit and may then seek further information from you, your neighbour or from a professional
  • Only after this time will we be able to decide if the hedge does affect your property and if so, what should be done to overcome the problem

If we decide that your neighbour needs to take action, we will issue a formal 'remedial notice'. This will describe the measures they must take, and by when. It may also include steps to prevent the problem from happening again.

While the remedial notice has effect, it will be registered as a local land charge and will be binding on every person who owns or occupies the land.

 
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