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Due to essential maintenance our online forms and Public Access (planning, building control and licensing online) service will be unavailable Saturday 22 June 2019 between approximately 9am and 1pm. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

High hedges

Report a problem with a hedge

This page is intended for issues with  a neighbouring hedge that is too high and interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of your house and garden, please try to resolve the issue with the owner before approaching us.

Please use this form to report a hedge blocking a footpath.

​You should keep a record of dates when you have spoken or written to the hedge owner and what response you got. You need to show us this if you want to make a complaint.

Making a complaint

The owner or the occupier of a domestic property or garden can make a complaint to us, this can be done online.

The law states we can only intervene if:

  • the hedge consists of more than one tree
  • the hedge is evergreen or semi-evergreen
  • the hedge is over two metres in height, not including its roots, with no significant gaps
  • the hedge is on a neighbouring property
  • the hedge stops or interferes with your reasonable enjoyment of your home or garden
  • you have already made reasonable attempts to negotiate with the hedge owner, even if verbal communication has broken down

For a hedge to count as interfering with your ‘reasonable enjoyment’ of your property, you have to show that it blocks out daylight or sunlight, obstructs view, dominates a garden, obstructs access or similar.

The problem has to be a serious one – we will not look into your complaint if we think it is vexatious or frivolous.

If you have a problem with your neighbour’s hedge, please download the leaflet (produced by the government) called ‘Over the Garden Hedge’. This gives you advice on how to approach the owner of the hedge to resolve the issue without getting the council involved.

Costs

The government has said you will have to pay a fee to get us to intervene, as you would be the main beneficiary of such action. The standard fee will be £320, or £160 if you are on an income-related benefit. You have to pay before we will agree to take on your complaint.

Investigating your complaint

If your problem meets all the criteria above, an officer will investigate your complaint and decide whether or not it is justified. We follow national guidance in making this decision, which can be viewed on the Department for Communities and Local Government website.

Whether we decide to uphold your complaint or not, we have to tell you and the hedge owner about our decision and explain the reasons for it.

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