We have powers to resolve disputes over high hedges in neighbouring gardens. The law comes under Section 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 and Council officers may step in to independently resolve disputes if all other attempts to solve the situation have failed.
We are only able to get involved as a last resort and can refuse to intervene unless it is satisfied that the person making the complaint has done everything reasonable to settle the dispute.
We are only able to consider complaints that meet all of the following conditions:
- The complaint is being made as a last resort and sufficient evidence has been provided to demonstrate this.
- The hedge is made up of a line of 2 or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs.
- The height of the hedge is more than 2 metres above ground level.
- The hedge is growing on land owned by someone else.
- The affected property is residential.
- The complainant is the owner or occupier of the property affected by the hedge.
- The complaint is purely in relation to problems directly caused by the height of the hedge.
The fee to investigate these complaints has been set at £300.
(Concessionary fee of £100 for those in receipt of housing or council tax benefits)
How to register a complaint
Only branches overhanging your boundary can be cut and they must be cut in a way that will not compromise the health of the trees or shrubs.
You must offer the cuttings or arisings to your neighbour although they are not obliged to take them or remove them or pay for their removal. You should be aware that any works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order or by a Planning Condition will require permission in writing from the Council.
If you are in any doubt please seek your own legal advice.