Last updated: 20/09/2013
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This page offers advice if you think that an evergreen
high hedge is detracting from the reasonable enjoyment of your
property, home or garden. The page gives information on what to do
to make a complaint to the Council.
The role of the council will not be to mediate or negotiate but
to adjudicate on whether, in the words of the Act, the hedge is
adversely affecting your reasonable enjoyment of your property.
The Council will take account of all relevant factors and will
strike a balance between the competing interests of the complainant
and hedge owner, as well as any interests of the wider
If the Council considers that the circumstances justify it, it
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 by when.
Failure to carry out the works required by us will be an offence,
which on prosecution, could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.
- The legislation does not require all hedges to be cut down to a
height of 2 metres
- You do not have to get permission to grow a hedge above 2
- When a hedge grows over 2 metres the local authority does not
automatically take action
- If you complain to your local authority, it does not follow
automatically that they will order your neighbour to reduce the
height of their hedge
- The local authority has powers, but not a duty, to require a
reduction in height when the hedge affects reasonable
- The local authority will weigh up all the issues and consider
each case on its merits
- The legislation does not cover single or deciduous trees or
- The local authority cannot require the hedge to be removed
- The legislation does not guarantee access to uninterrupted
- There is no provision to serve an Anti-social Behaviour Order
(ASBO) in respect of high hedge complaints.
Before you complain
Satisfy yourself that you have tried and exhausted all other
avenues for resolving your hedge dispute. It is advisable to
satisfy yourself that your case meets the test that the hedge
affects the reasonable enjoyment of your property and to consider
whether the hedge owner has a reasonable case to maintain the
height. Useful information on how to attempt to resolve disputes
can be found in the government’s publication “Over
the Garden Hedge”. The publication “High
Hedges Complaints – Prevention and Cure” provides advice on how
the local authority will determine complaints.
How to complain
If you still wish to proceed and make a formal complaint, you
will need to submit a completed form along with the appropriate fee
of £320. Download the high hedge complaint form.
Right of Appeal
If you disagree with the Council’s decision on a complaint about
a high hedge, or in connection with any remedial notice that has
been issued, you may be able to ask the Planning Inspectorate
to review the case. There are also some circumstances under which a
complainant may appeal if the Council has made a decision otherwise
than in his or her favour.
Follow this link for more information on High Hedge