High hedges This collection brings together all documents relating to high hedges. What sorts of complaint can the council look at? The council must be realistic about how long it will take your neighbour to cut the hedge or arrange for someone else to do it. The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013, offers a possible resolution of last resort to neighbour disputes over high or “nuisance” hedges.For a high hedge to fall within the scope of the Act, it must firstly be a hedge… The issue of “high hedges… You will need to explain what, and how serious, those problems are. The council may offer reduced fees for people who are on a low income or benefits. It may require your neighbour to keep the hedge trimmed to a certain height. The Act defines high hedges as a line of two or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs higher than 2 metres above ground level that form a complete barrier to light or access. It is a matter of judgement whether a hedge meets this test. If you do anything more than trim overhanging branches, your neighbour could take you to court for damaging their property. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. This is because the council have worked to settle your private dispute with a neighbour. If the hedge is on a bank or in a raised bed the measurement should be taken from the natural ground level. We also use non-essential cookies to help us improve our websites. The council have to weigh up all relevant information before reaching a fair and balanced decision. This could include keeping the hedge within its new height for as long as it’s there. For example, chapters 4 and 5 of this guide give detailed advice about what councils look at when they make decisions on complaints. When councils are determining a complaint they must first decide whether the height of the high hedge is having an adverse effect on a neighbour’s enjoyment of their home and/or its garden or yard. The council should decide whether the hedge is adversely affecting your ‘reasonable enjoyment’ of your property and, if so, what action (if any) should be taken to put right the situation or stop it happening again. To help you test the strength of your case, it also might be worth reading High hedges complaints: prevention and cure. Provided they have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving their hedge dispute, people are now able to take their complaint about a neighbour's evergreen hedge … But a hedge with gaps at more than 2 metres above ground level that significantly affect its overall effect as a barrier to light or access is not a “high hedge” and, therefore, you cannot complain to the council about such hedges under this procedure. High Hedges are dealt with under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 which came into operation in Wales on 31 December 2004.. Tall hedges can be a nuisance, especially where neighbours can't agree on a suitable height amicably. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. This is because Act states that hedges … You can contact the council if you think your neighbour isn’t acting in accordance with this notice. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. The Act seeks to provide an effective means of resolving disputes over the effects of high hedges … They might, for example, measure the size of your garden or how far the hedge is from windows in your home. If you’re having trouble writing the complaint, a relative or friend or Citizens Advice may be able to help. a barrier to light or access (even if there are gaps)? The legislation also allows councils to set and charge fees for handling these complaints. We use cookies to collect information about how you use GOV.UK. They must take into account any relevant concerns raised by you and your neighbour. The High Hedges (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in 2012, was passed last year, and now comes in to force on 1st April 2014. Provided they have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving their hedge dispute, people are now able to take their complaint about a neighbour's evergreen hedge … It will take time for them to get a statement from your neighbour and arrange to visit the site. To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. When they’ve got both sides of the story, a council officer will visit the site to look at the hedge and its surroundings. It’s an offence to fail to do what a remedial notice requires. For example, 2 metres will only be the right height in some cases. The council can do no more than issue a ‘remedial notice’ ordering your neighbour to reduce the hedge to a height that will put the problems right and stop them happening again. In these circumstances it is important that neighbours continue to try to resolve their issues amicably, recognising each other's right to enjoyment of their property. Resolving such issues amicably will help to improve people's lives and help to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities. The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary but the wrong hedge may bring problems. To what extent does the hedge block light or views, even if there are gaps in the greenery or between the trees or shrubs? Are you the owner or occupier of this domestic property? All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated, nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3, Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, High hedges complaints: prevention and cure, trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order, appeal to the independent Planning Inspectorate, Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support, Transparency and freedom of information releases. We’ll send you a link to a feedback form. This requires give and take on both sides and unfortunately neighbour disputes will arise on occasion. It might be worth reading Hedge height and light loss. This guide and the related spreadsheet can help you work out whether an evergreen hedge is blocking too much daylight and sunlight to your home or garden. Behaviour Act changes that: local authorities will have powers to deal with complaints about high hedges which are having an adverse effect on a neighbour's enjoyment of his property. You can complain about problems that you have in a home that you own or occupy and/or its garden or yard because of the hedge’s height. This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-hedges-complaining-to-the-council/high-hedges-complaining-to-the-council. Please see Over the garden hedge for information on the steps you should think about taking before you complain to the council. Find It helps when neighbours cannot resolve problems with high hedges. This would be a simple sequence of events: Where you feel that a hedge is … For example, give details of the position, type and height of the hedge’s trees or shrubs and, if you wish, include a plan. The Act is a relatively new piece of legislation which is not a panacea for all problems involving vegetation. There is evidence that the Act is having a positive impact and I hope that it will continue to provide a solution to many of the long-standing disputes between neighbours in relation to high hedges. The council can’t get involved in helping you get back the fee that you’ve paid and certainly can’t force your neighbour to repay you. Homeowners and occupiers of residential properties whose light is affected by a high hedge have a right to apply to our Council for a High Hedge Notice under the High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013. High hedges can be a nuisance to neighbouring land, particularly when they grow to the extent of blocking light from a property. But the legislation doesn’t allow councils to deal with every problem that might be caused by hedges. Changes to Legislation. If you’ve taken the steps listed in Over the garden hedge and can answer ‘yes’ to all the points listed below, the local council is likely to be able to consider your complaint. The High Hedges Act (Scotland) 2013 came into force on 1 April 2014. They might, for example, make sure that your complaint is handled by someone who isn’t responsible for maintaining the hedge. But in some cases the council will decide that it’s right to refund all or part of a fee. The Act is a relatively new piece of legislation which is not a panacea for all problems involving vegetation. You can appeal to the independent Planning Inspectorate. Subsidence can be caused by a hedge’s roots taking moisture from soils that shrink. This revised guidance was drawn together through discussions with local authorities and interest groups and balances these against the limitations of what can be practically achieved within the limits of the existing legislation. A complaint about overgrown trees and hedges can be made under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 by the owner or occupier of the property that is affected. If you’ve taken the steps listed in Over the garden … The Act aims to provide a solution to the problem of high hedges, where neighbours have not been able to resolve the issue amicably. Check the council’s website or complaint form, or contact the council, to find out how much the right fee is and how you should pay it. This Guide sets out the Government’s policy advice on administering complaints about high hedges in England, under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. There is evidence that the Act is having a positive impact and I hope that it will continue to provide a solution to many of the long-standing disputes between neighbours in relation to high hedges. Collecting written evidence from you and your neighbour and visiting the site will make sure that the council have the information they need to make the right decision. Part VIII ("High Hedges") is in response to concerns about hedges, typically of Leyland Cypress plants, which can grow to 6 metres or more in height, sometimes cutting out light for neighbours. Once the local authority has decided that the owner needs to take action regarding a high hedge, they must issue a high hedge notice [54].This notice enforces the local authority's decision and sets out the action the hedge owner must take to restore a suitable balance between the applicant's and the hedge … Good neighbourliness is something that should underpin all of our interactions within our communities so that we can all live peacefully side-by-side. The hedge … Also, the council can enter the land and carry out the required work. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: psi@nationalarchives.gov.uk. Before it will investigate the council will … The government have published guidance on how to settle your hedge … Where a hedge becomes more than simply a boundary and becomes a … 4: High hedge notices. They must also think about effects on the neighbourhood. Whatever the height the council thinks the hedge should be reduced to under the terms of the Act, it will not order that reduction if it thinks there is any possibility at all of the hedge being killed. It also explains how home owners and occupiers can complain to the … The High Hedges Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 provides a legal basis for taking action over a problem high hedge. The council can order your neighbour to take action to stop the problems with the hedge happening again. You can’t be sure what the result will be. High hedges. Ensuring that householders can enjoy the use of their homes is extremely important. I appreciate that there will continue to be circumstances where the legislation cannot be utilised to resolve a dispute over vegetation as the Act simply does not apply. One that keeps some live or green leaves all year round. Such hedges … Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. The aim of the Act is to … It may also have information on how to make your complaint, any fee you may need to pay and which department handles complaints. Is the hedge (or the part of it that’s causing problems) a ‘high hedge’? 2019 revisions to the guidance for local authorities on the High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013. It provides an independent assessment of a high hedge that may … This doesn’t include those privet hedges that lose all their leaves in winter and beech or hornbeam hedges that keep dead leaves in winter. The council should determine your complaint impartially. The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 was given Royal Assent (approval) on 2 May 2013 and I congratulate Mark McDonald for all of his work to make this happen. The council will let the neighbour know that you’ve complained, so bear this in mind when you’re writing the complaint. Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned. Kevin Stewart MSPMinister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Your feedback will help us improve this site, High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013: revised guidance 2019, 5: Meeting the conditions of a high hedge notice, Find This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. Published 11 July 2008 From: Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. You’ve accepted all cookies. Once they’re satisfied that your complaint meets the legal tests, the council will invite your neighbour to set out their case. Any data collected is anonymised. Not usually. Chapter 9 of High hedges complaints: prevention and cure gives detailed guidance on enforcing remedial notices. growing on land owned or occupied by someone else? No. You can complain to the council if you think they’ve done something wrong, failed to provide a service or not followed correct procedures. Yes. Think carefully about the reasons for your complaint. You can also send a copy to your neighbour so that they know what you’ve done. This means that whether a landlord agrees or … The council might also have to allow extra time to protect birds nesting in the hedge. They will decide whether the hedge adversely affects the reasonable enjoyment of your home and its garden or yard and what, if anything, should be done. There is a serious loophole in the High Hedges Law. made up of a line of 2 or more trees or shrubs? There’s no set deadline for the council. If the council accept your complaint you will most likely have to pay them a fee for their service. You can change your cookie settings at any time. You can send your complaint to the council by post or email. The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 (the Act) came into effect on 1 April 2014 and grants local authorities the power to act as independent adjudicators in disputes between neighbours about high hedges … High Hedges are dealt with under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 which came into operation in England on 1 June 2005. This legislation enables the owner or occupier of a domestic property affected by a high hedge to make a complaint to us provided that all of the following apply: the hedge … What the result will be you agree to our use of their homes is extremely important out case! Is a serious loophole in the hedge neighbour isn ’ t heard anything, you can change cookie. 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high hedges act

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