A high hedge is defined as a line of two or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs rising to a height of more than two metres above ground level.
Attempts to resolve the complaint
If you are being caused problems by a high hedge which is not on your property your first step should be to contact the owner of the land on which the hedge is situated, to see if the situation can be resolved between yourself and the owner. We can not mediate or negotiate between yourself and the hedge owner.
You should keep details of conversations you have had and steps that you have taken to resolve the issues you have with your neighbour's tree or hedge. You will only need to provide brief descriptions to us such as:
- Date 01/01/01: Discussed hedge in person with neighbour, couldn't agree a solution
- Date 02/02/02: Mediators visited, couldn't agree a solution
- Date 03/03/03: Wrote to neighbour to advise I would be complaining to the council
Making an official complaint
As a last resort we offer a service to adjudicate on whether the hedge is ‘adversely affecting the complainant’s reasonable enjoyment of their property’. In doing so, we must take account of all relevant factors and must strike a balance between the competing interests of the complainant and the hedge owner, as well as the interests of the wider community.
Please be aware that there is a cost for this service.
What will be taken in to account when reviewing a complaint
- Protection afforded from noise, small, smoke
- Damage to plants
- Overhanging branches
- Litter dropped by the hedge
- Obstruction of sunlight
- Obstruction of daylight
- Blocking of views
- Protected trees
- Legal restrictions
- Effect of gaps
Who can complain?
- You must be the owner or occupier of the property affected by a high hedge in order to make a formal complaint to us. If you do not own the property, you can still make a complaint. But you should let the owner, landlord or management company know what you are doing.
- The property does not have to be wholly residential but must include some living accommodation otherwise we cannot consider the complaint.
What happens next?
If we consider the circumstances justify it, we will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which will set out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem, and when by. Failure to carry out the works instructed by ourselves in is an offence which, on prosecution, could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.