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High Hedges

The council regulates the height of hedges and this page explains the criteria and process for a complaint

High Hedge

Does your case qualify as a High Hedge complaint? 

The hedge has to be:

  • Over 2 metres in height
  • Evergreen or semi-evergreen
  • Two or more trees in a continuous line

The hedge must:

  • Affect a domestic property
  • Be adversely affecting the reasonable enjoyment of the domestic property such as light, access or views.

It does not cover:

  • Problems with roots including subsidence, blocked drains or the removal of water or nutrients from the soil
  • Applications from the occupier of the land

You think you have a case. What should you do first?

The Communities and Local Government website has two leaflets which will guide you through the process: Over the Garden Hedge and High Hedges: Complaining to the council.

Before involving the council you need to try to resolve the issue yourself. The council will ask for proof of written and verbal communication within the last four months before initiating the process.

If you do not know who owns the land which the hedge stands on you must undertake a Land Registry search.

Once you are confident of your case, please contact the Landscape and Ecology team who will ask you to:

The role of the council is not to mediate or negotiate between the complainant and the hedge owner. It adjudicates on whether the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property. In doing so, the council takes into account all relevant factors and strikes a balance between the competing interests of the complainant and hedge owner, as well as the interests of the wider community.

The council can issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which will set out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem, and when they must do it by. Failure to carry this out can lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

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