High Hedges and the Law
Neighbours who cannot resolve their disputes over high hedges can ask local authorities to intervene.
Under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, local authorities have the power to intervene in disputes once a complaint has been made. The authority will decide whether the hedge is stopping someone's reasonable enjoyment of their home or garden, striking a balance between the complainant's and hedge owner's interests.
The complainant must show they have tried to resolve the matter with the hedge owner. Complaints will only be considered where the hedge is evergreen, over two metres high and blocking out light, access or reasonable enjoyment of neighbour's property. If this is the case, local authorities will take a range of factors into account to reach a balanced decision on whether the hedge is a problem.
Connick Tree Care are happy to advise and help with any issues.
Cutting the tall stories down to size
- The legislation does not require all hedges to be cut down to a height of 2 metres
- You do not have to get permission to grow a hedge above 2 metres
- When a hedge grows over 2 metres the local authority does not automatically take action, unless a justifiable complaint is made
- If you complain to your local authority, it does not follow automatically that they will order your neighbour to reduce the height of their hedge. They have to weigh up all the issues and consider each case on its merits
- The legislation only applies to evergreen hedges, it does not cover single or deciduous trees
- The local authority cannot require the hedge to be removed
- The legislation does not guarantee access to uninterrupted light
- There is no provision to serve an Anti-social Behaviour Order (ASBO) in respect of high hedge complaints