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Hedges

If a hedge forms part of a garden and has been clearly managed as a hedge, then it is not protected. If you consider your neighbour's hedges are too high, then please read the advice below.

If a hedge is not part of garden or it has been left unmanaged for many years and has grown into a line or row of trees, then it may be protected.

Find out more about:

You don't normally need permission to plant a hedge or trees within a garden. And there no laws over how high you can grow a hedge, which can lead to issues between neighbours. 

Resolve the issue with your neighbour

If you have an issue with a neighbour’s hedge, you should talk to them about the problem and try to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

You could send a polite letter, or if this still doesn’t work, invite them to talk to independent mediators who can help you find a way forward.  Find a Civil Mediation provider on the Justice website.

Find out more on how to resolve issues about hedges from the Government information 'Over the garden hedge'.

Make a formal complaint

If you have followed the advice above and have not resolved the issue, you can make a formal complaint.

When you submit a complaint, we will sent a copy of your complaint to the owner of the hedge. We will remove your personal contact details from the copy we send them.

Determining high hedge complaints

If it is decided that a hedge adversely affects the reasonable enjoyment of your home and garden, then we can issue a remedial notice to the owner of the hedge setting out what must be done to reduce the height of the hedge, the time-frame for doing the work and what is required to prevent the problem happening again.

Complaining to the council about a neighbour's hedges should be a last resort.

 

Criteria for considering high hedge complaints

We can only consider a complaint if the:

  • person making the complaint is the owner or occupier of the property affected by the hedge
  • property affected is a domestic property
  • the height of the hedge is adversely affecting the reasonable enjoyment of the domestic property.

You will need to show evidence of the steps you have taken to reach a solution.

The high hedge must be:

  • growing on land owned by someone else
  • made up of a line of two or more trees or shrubs (or a portion of it)
  • mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen
  • more than 2 metres tall
  • obstructing light or views - even though there may be gaps in the foliage or between the trees or shrubs.

How much does it cost to make a formal complaint about a high hedge?

It costs £500 to make a formal complaint and you do not get the money back even if your complaint is accepted and acted on by the Council.

Make a high hedge formal complaint online

If you own or manage a countryside hedgerow (or hedgerow trees), then we recommend you consult the Hedgerows Regulations 1997, to make sure you fully comply with the law for hedgerows protected or otherwise.

The regulations do not apply to any hedgerows marking a boundary of a domestic house.  

What is a protected hedgerow?

These are hedges which:

  • grow in, or beside any common land, local nature reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest, land used for agriculture, forestry or the breeding or keeping of horses, ponies or donkeys
  • are over 20 metres long, or meet another hedgerow if under 20 metres.

Removing a protected hedgerow

If you want to remove a hedgerow, or part of a hedgerow which is protected, you must contact us before doing any work, by submitting a:

Hedgerow Removal Notice (opens in new window)

Hedgerow Removal Notice - Guidance Notes (opens in new window)

Not sure if hedgerow is protected?

If you are not sure if the hedgerow you want to remove is protected, contact us on 01483 523307 to find out.

More information on protected hedgerows

See Countryside hedgerows: protection and management on gov.uk