Make a High Hedge Complaint

You can let us know if you think a neighbour has allowed their hedge to grow too high.

The control only applies to evergreen or semi-evergreen hedges over two metres high. We can only accept a complaint when reasonable steps have been made to resolve the issue.

Dealing with a high hedge

We are unable to become involved in a high hedge dispute until you have tried to resolve the problem yourself. This includes talking to your neighbour about the problem and asking a third party to step in and mediate.

The GOV.UK website provides useful help and advice on this topic:

High hedges are covered by Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. In this Act, a high hedge is defined as:

  • evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs
  • two or more plants in a row without significant gaps
  • over two metres tall from ground level.

They must be in the ownership of someone else. They must also be affecting your enjoyment of your home or garden (either as an owner or as a tenant). This is referred to as a detrimental impact on amenity.

We use the following guidance from GOV.UK to decide if it's a complaint:

Submit a complaint

You can submit a complaint about high hedges using the online form below. Make sure you attach the evidence set out in the form.

We will take a minimum of 12 weeks to consider your complaint and decide whether there is a detrimental impact on amenity because of the height of the hedge.

There is a fee of £537 when you submit your complaint. Householders who are in receipt of benefits will pay a fee of £100.

If formal mediation is undertaken, there will be a reduction in the fee equivalent to the costs incurred by attempting formal mediation, up to a maximum reduction of £160.

A full refund will be given where a Tree Preservation Order is placed on the hedge in question.

Enquire about a high hedge

Prior to submitting a complaint, you may want to confirm if we consider that this is a hedge as defined by the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.

You can make an enquiry using the online form below.

This must be accompanied by a fee of £173. 

A site visit will only be undertaken if it is deemed to be necessary by the case officer to give the requested advice. Otherwise our response will be based on the information submitted.

What happens next

We will assess the information you send, and any additional information from the owner of the hedge. We will also carry out a site visit to both your property and the hedge owner's property.

If we think the complaint is valid, we will issue a remedial notice. This notice will detail the work needed to address the high hedge problem and prevent it from happening again. The notice cannot require:

  • works that would lead to the death of the hedge by excessive trimming
  • the hedge to be cut down to less than two metres in height
  • the hedge to be removed completely.

If the work detailed in the notice is not carried out, the hedge owner could be prosecuted and fined.

Both the complainant and the hedge owner can appeal against our decision. For more information about appeals and the time limits, see the GOV.UK procedure guidance on high hedge appeals.

Further  information is also available on the Planning Portal website which can be found at Information regarding High Hedges 

 

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