High hedges: common boundary dispute
The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary but the wrong hedge can bring problems for you and your neighbours.
On 1st June 2005 legislation came into force under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 giving the Council powers to control the height of certain hedges.
To qualify under this legislation, the hedge must be a line of 2 or more trees or shrubs of an evergreen or semi-evergreen species.
It is only the height over 2 metres that can be controlled in relation to the obstruction of light or views to residential property. The new legislation does not cover damage to property by roots etc, this remains a civil matter.
The emphasis is firmly on neighbours trying to resolve the dispute without having to make a formal complaint to the Council, which is seen as the last resort.
There is a fee that the Council charge to process and deal with a complaint and this is currently £420.
Information booklets on how to approach a hedge dispute and how to complain to the Council are available from the Council's on 01322 343434.
Further information, including the formal complaint forms (documents in pdf format):