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Unhappy With a Neighbour's High Hedge?

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 22 Nov 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Hedge Height Neighbour Council Complain

What can you do if you are unhappy with a neighbour's hedge?

"The farmer with land opposite our property... has let the hedge opposite us grow well over 6ft and it's untidily restricting our view. What can we do?"

Trim any overhanging branches - Any parts of the hedge that protrude onto your land, you may trim back to the point at which they cross the boundary. (Note: This does not mean that you can trim the height of the hedge, just the overhanging branches / foliage. You must also do this from your own property unless your neighbour gives you permission to use their land for access.)

Speak to your neighbour about the problem - It may be that they do not realise how it affects your property, or that you can come to some compromise about the hedge height.

Use the Antisocial Behaviour Act - If you have spoken to your neighbour and you are unable to solve the problem, you can ask your local council to intervene using their powers under Part 8 of the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003. This should only be used as a last resort and the council can refuse to intervene if they do not consider that you have done all you can to informally resolve the dispute first.

Complaining to your local council

If you would like your local council to investigate your complaint the hedge in question must meet the following criteria:
  • Be rooted on land belonging to someone else
  • Be made up of a minimum of 2 or more trees or shrubs
  • Be mostly made up of evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs
  • Be more than 2 metres tall
  • Be capable of obstructing light or views

You can complain to your local council if you are the owner or occupier (e.g. landlord, tenant or resident owner) of the affected property. The property affected must however be residential (i.e. not a business or warehouse).

When considering whether a hedge height detracts from the reasonable enjoyment of your property or garden, the council will consider all relevant factors, including light, views and the home owner's need for privacy.

Note: Be aware that most councils charge a fee to investigate your complaint. This can be up to £650, though the average charge is around £300. People with lower incomes will generally be eligible for a discount.

Further information on complaining to the council about high hedges can be found in this document on the government website

Remedial Notices

If the council considers that the hedge is too high, they may impose a remedial notice. This requires the hedge owner to remedy the problem and prevent it reoccurring.

Key facts about remedial notices:

  • A remedial notice is likely to include a long-term provision to prevent the problem reoccurring (for example a requirement to annually trim the hedge to prevent it growing over a certain height).
  • A remedial notice cannot require a hedge to be cut lower than 2 metres or removed entirely.
  • A remedial notice is both binding on the current hedge owner or occupier of the premises, and any future successor owners or occupiers.
  • A remedial notice will be registered as a local land charge against your property (in the same way as any other restriction such as a right of way or easement).
  • A remedial notice can be relaxed or waived at a later date by the local council. However both the complainant and the owner/occupier of the land containing the hedge will be notified if this is proposed by the council.

A remedial notice can be appealed. All appeals are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate. There is no fee for appealing a remedial notice, but parties have to bear their own costs (for example any legal fees if you wish to get help from a solicitor).

Enforcement

If the owner/occupier fails to comply with a remedial notice, then can be fined up to £1000. The council can, in addition to the fine also require compliance with the notice within a specified time period.

Failure to comply within that period could lead to a further fine of up to £1000, plus a daily fine of up to £200 for every day that the notice is not complied with.

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Hi We have 7 half foot hedge planted 30 years ago it was open land behind it at the time a 3 storey house was built 4 ft from our boundary line and insufficient foundations the property has now got subsidence the builder liquidated company so therefore couldn't pursue him so insurers have requested that 3 adjoining properties remove trees and my hedge this is a nightmare as insurers have offloaded to an insurance agent who use bully boy tactics im at my wits end its affecting my health my garden is beautiful and don't want to look at a gable wall that is huge ??
Missgrotbags - 22-Nov-20 @ 7:32 AM
My neighbour is cutting his hedge down to 2M his drive is lower in his side which would make the hedge about 1M on our side, does he have to take the 2M measurement from my side?
Ian - 15-Nov-20 @ 7:27 PM
Hi i have lived in my house for over forty years when we moved in the lorol hedge was high and establishedwe put a fence up some 30 years agobehind the lorol and its still theresadly neighbour died now new one wants to take fence down no problem with that but also wants to cut the high lorol down to 6ft exposing us to a row of housesand loosing all privacy as the hedge has been there for over 50 years can i claim it as ours so stopping her doing this
PAT - 18-Oct-20 @ 1:20 PM
hi i have lived in my house for over forty years when we moved in there wasan esstablished loral hedgesome 30 years agowe put up a fence its still there the new neighbours are now saying the fence and hedge are obn there sise and want to remove the fence no problem with us but they also are goibg to ct the hedge down to 6ft hight as the hedge has been there for over 50 years now can i claim it as mine
PAT - 18-Oct-20 @ 1:14 PM
We moved into our house last year into a terraced house.... the neighbour on our right had hedge just below the upstairs windows.Garden is south facing, however because of hedge sunlight away by teatime.She declined to have hedge cut to 2 metres, and so we took it into our own hands and and cut it down to just above 2 metres. She then claimed that we had killed the hedge and took us to court, demanding that a new, fully matured hedge be planted.As a result, we ended up in mediation, where we agreed to have the hedge pruned (at our expense) just to end the matter.She was to pick the gardener and send us the bill.... low and behold, she has not done this, andmagically the hedge has grown! I believe she intends to let the hedge grown again to the 4 metres plus that it was before.Would I have agood case if I took this to the council?
Lisa - 22-Sep-20 @ 10:27 AM
Neighbours hedge along shared driveway is over grown over 8 foot have asked several times to trim as also scratching cars but does bear minimum . MY SON INLAW did cut it for him one year agobut he stood there making sure not below the 6 foot and we got rid of rubbish for him no thank you or anything .We have also lost our sea view but all he said is no rights to view.
Fed up - 4-Aug-20 @ 3:50 PM
I have a 14ft laurel hedge at the end of my garden that is maintained every year and has been there for more than 20 years , the landlord at the back has asked me to cut it down to 8ft as he says it restricts light to his tenant, the tenant has lived there for about 8 years and I've never had a complaint. If the hedge was cut down I would be totally overlooked by a fire escape where the above tenants stands and hang their washing etc. Do I have any rights to privacy . He has worked out 8ft using the right to light re hedges. I think the light to his Windowsis due to the wooden fire escape directly above . Is there a law that if something has been there for more than 12 years it cannot change. Would really appreciate some advice on this.
Fee - 15-Jul-20 @ 5:46 AM
My neighbour planted a conifer tree 40years ago but what they didn't realise was they had planted it in half mine and half theres so half the trunk is in mine and half in theirs sothe tree has grown that big both ways it's now killedhalf my garden grass because of tree the roots are very thick and run across my garden . Andthe tree now blocks most of the sunlight and my veiw from bedroom windowbut the best thing about it is their garden still has full sunlight hasnt killed any grass and still have a veiw and I had a greenhouse at one time but now it's pointless coz I haven't much sun anymore I love my garden and sit in it and look after it as my neighbours dont sit in theirs much .I have asked them if they could trim itdown both ways but are not listening to me just keep brushing me off and not saying anything my garden has gone from lovely green grass and flowers to a dark dingy garden so sad to see this happen .my house is a housing association and my neighbours is bought how do I go about this treegetting cut down .i would appreciate it if someone could give me some advice.
Patsy - 13-Jul-20 @ 10:49 PM
My laurel is roughly 20ft high and at least 60ftaway from the back of ours and our neighbours houseit is at least 6 ft into my garden away from the boundary he has only a mesh fencing up he receives complete sunlight from first thing in the morning until 6 pm when the shade comes over. His garden is so unsightly mostly consisted of scrap materials but he wants our laurel cut down. We moved in 4 years ago all plants and trees where already here. My question is where do we stand. As i dont want to be looking into his view.The laurel has lots of birds that nest there too. Thank you
Freddy - 19-Jun-20 @ 10:04 PM
1. Live in area of bungalows.Rear Garden goes back 8 meters. 30 meters wide. All other bungalows have trees on the boundary At the required 2 meter height. Except our rear neighbour ... 2. 7 years ago a line of evergreen hedges at height of 3 meters and a new hedge was planted in addition plus beaches.It is growing each year faster than being trimmed and is now 6 meters high. 3 blocks most of the light in our back garden. Looks unsightly. 4. Dried up the soil, I’ve replaced 4 fence plinths as of the force on the fences and dryness of the soil. 5. One conifer was overhanging completely on our side - 4 feet into our garden I had to chop back to the fence line. Neighbour shouted at me that I should not have done that. She can’t see the tree as it’s right up on my fence. Neighbour shouts at me saying don’t touch the hedges. I have tried to reconcile and explain Over the last 7 years but nothing is working. She also planted beach-trees on the fence line now. 6. We want our back garden back into a condition we purchased the house for. 7. Received a letter as she has spoken to the council. Saying how nice she is to usI wrote back explaining to the council all the facts. Council wrote back to me saying talk to the neighbour first. Despite explaining we have for the last 7 years. 8. Unfortunately neighbour is not of sound mind and cannot move forward at all on this. What do We do ? Nightmare situation. Help ! Sent from my iPad
JH - 6-Jun-20 @ 9:44 AM
We have two bungalows at the bottom of our garden. One has conifers and one has a private hedge about 4 feet deep with another tree like thing growing in the middle. 20 years ago we spoke to both neighbours about keeping the height down, as we have a small garden. Both have passed away. The bungalow with the conifers the son has taken over and like his parents he has so far kept the conifers down they area approx 7ft high. The bungalow with the private hedge we have trimmed our side and the top for 20 years as the elderly couple asked us to. A year ago another couple moved in. We came back from a holiday to find they had run a fence between them and their neighbour the length of the garden but the concrete post is in our garden and a small part of the fence. We were not happy but the builders ignored us when we pointed it out. We were trimming the hedge when the owners came bounding up and said they wanted privacy it is their hedge. We said it was overhanging and we were trimming it. It is over hanging by about two feetnow. The height we kept to about 6ft. It is now 8/9ft. The neighbour said they cant get up to trim it that was weeks ago when it was only about 7ft.Ibelieve the family who have the conifers have said we want the hedge kept timmed.The tree like thing in the middle of it is thick and dense and we have to use loppers to get it cut back Our neighbourwho also has the hedge at the bottom of her property paid every year for gardners to keep it trimmed. She has MS so she can't even trim the overhanging. Wha can we do if anything?
jay - 1-Jun-20 @ 7:49 AM
I own a 89 acre farm my house is in a valley at the top of my hill someone has purchased the land and is building a very modern house l story almost all glass frontit looks like a office buildingor some kind of modern businesswe live in a 160 year old farm houseit does not blind with this farm area we do not want to look at it nor do we want the people in the house sit outside and watch us we feel like we are in a fish bowl.So 've have planted a privet hedge for privacy it is 20 feet from the border totally on our landwe are in a land conservancy to keep all farm land and open land to be forever farm land or undeveloped landthis woman says she will she us because it will spoil her view of the mountainsan she said she has the money to do it and will go to the state not the local councilwhat do you think
Sherry - 16-May-20 @ 7:53 PM
Neighbour at bottom of garden looked over fence, said Mum at Property had died and he was son and property was under probate and now vacant. He then said that the conifers on my side where to high and I needed to cut them down I told him no and nesting birds where in the trees, he said he would report me to Council. What can I do next
Tony - 6-Apr-20 @ 12:56 PM
Have dispute with neighbour on evergreen hedge height( some 3-4 mtrs high. Have been informed by local council that we have no right of view ( house overlooks Thames estuary) told by tree officer to forget complaining as he will not back complaint. He has not had formal complaint yet (supplied photos by third party) and responded to a request of what we can do, he made it quite clear NO claim!?
Plod16921 - 13-Jan-20 @ 7:27 PM
I have, with three other properties a boundary hedge between us and a Trust field open to the public. It consists of semi evergreen trees and shrubs.It grows at about 2 metres per year.The Trust says it can only trim the hedge once every 3 - 5 years. In the past both us and our neighbours at our expense have trimmed the hedge.The Trust has said we must not in future trim the hedge.Cutting it back at its present height (after our last trimming) is about 3 metres high and we can just trim the foliage over our property; if it grows higher i.e. another 6 - 10 metres over the coming years it will be impossible for us to trim that over our property without enduring considerable expense. .
slim - 17-Sep-19 @ 10:15 AM
My brother tryed to cut our neighbors butterfly bush, it was over hanging our 6ft fence and leaning on the shed roof. He came out and used a raized voice over fence, saying it was leaving gaps in it and no argument it's finile but my brother was not given a chance to explain and was not in the wrong. The front garden greenaryis now over 6ft too. What can I do?.
Mich - 2-Aug-19 @ 2:05 PM
I have 5.5 foot laurel trees at front of my propertykept within the boundary.A neighbour has requested that I cutthem back as, when reversing off their drivewaythey cant see on coming traffic.I think they can. What do i do
Lam - 18-Jul-19 @ 7:14 AM
We live on unadopted road therefore residents pay into a fund for the upkeep of road and hedgerows. The particular hedgerow in question runs along side of road with a property behind it.From our side, there are five bungalows (bedrooms at front) which face the hedgerow with the road being single lane shingle track,between our front garden and hedgerow The neighbour behind hedgerow has said the GPS shows his boundary runs through the middle of hedgerow and he wants to put a fence up.We went and saw it from his perspective and requested he gave the hedge a foot before putting his fence up and then suggested he trim back to his fence anything overhanging. As he didn’t want to lose a foot of his two thirds acre, he has hired a jcb and torn out two trees (one being Laurel).Plus pulling out anything that was over his GPS boundary. This now leaves a very thin hedgerow, which in part is also dying most likely of disturbed roots. Worried also that any high wind blowing from behind will topple what is left into the road. He hasn’t left us any space either to plant and infill. The hedgerow has regularly been maintained from our side.Advice would be appreciated.Council don’t appear to want to know.
Bo - 11-Jun-19 @ 8:03 AM
My neighbour had a hedge hat joins our garden- we have kept this for well over 2 years now- it’s is half over our boundary but they never trim or cut this- we have too or it looks so untidy- because it’s on my property isn’t it their responsibility to trim the whole hedge- or at least the top and we do our side? Can we cut the hedge in our boundary and place a fence?
Soph - 30-May-19 @ 7:58 AM
I and my neighbor back onto each other her conifers are twice the height of our homes one already came down last year smashing through my green house, I have had response from the council they say it’s the tenants responsibility she has no money and is on benefits I said is it not their responsibility and did I need to take them to court I’m happy to compromise and if they’d just cut them down to a manageable size I would look after them, he even admitted they are oversized and infringe on the house next doors light... any suggestions
Scooter - 13-May-19 @ 3:29 PM
We have lived in our home for over 35 years. We live next to a very popular public school that has grown in pupil numbers over those years , as we are on the western boundary and the eastern boundary is near the town , we on the western boundary have all their field activities taking place , together with all the noise that goes with it ! Shouting players and teachers ! We note the eastern boundary is not used often ? Also there is a small wooded area against our home owned by the school that is now being used for lessons together with all the shouting that goes with it ? The noise at times is such that we cannot use our garden as we would like . What are our rights , how can we stop it ? Thanks in anticipation of your help and advice.
Mario - 4-Oct-18 @ 8:41 AM
Traceyschicks - Your Question:
My not door neighbor has got a hedge which is over 2mtrs high and very wide causing I feel a danger to the public as I cannot see when coming out of my drive any one walking on the path until they walk straight in front of my drive. I have asked last year for them to reduce it, that was ignored sor contacted my local council who requested they reduce it but now it's ad high and wide as before

Our Response:
Talk to the highways department - if they neighbour's hedge is obstructing the highway/pavement they can take steps to force its cutting back or get the work done themselves and re-charge the cost to your neighbour. In the meantime, take things very slowly and maybe invest in a blind spot mirror.
ProblemNeighbours - 12-Sep-18 @ 10:48 AM
I have spoken to my nieghbour regarding her trees , 4 intotal are evergreen2 pine and 2 conifers all taller than my house and 7ft away , they have lifted and cracked the concrete panels on the fence and the branches are over hanging by around 6ft , when we first moved into our home i paid for them to be cut back 8 years ago , one of them is also blocking light into our kitchen so we have to keep putting the light on i spoken to her and her son about this and reducing the height but they dont want to know .
STUART - 11-Sep-18 @ 8:31 AM
My not door neighbor has got a hedge which is over 2mtrs high and very wide causing I feel a danger to the public as I cannot see when coming out of my drive any one walking on the path until they walk straight in front of my drive. I have asked last year for them to reduce it, that was ignored sor contacted my local council who requested they reduce it but now it's ad high and wide as before
Traceyschicks - 4-Sep-18 @ 2:42 PM
A developer purchased my neighbours back garden to build 2 houses. our boundary has a hedge and during the course of the building works the developer has excavated and exposed the roots of the hedge. Subsequently the hedge is dying and we have substantial gaps along the length. I have spoken to the developer who, although initially agreed to replace the hedge with a fence, now is disinclined to undertake any works to the boundary. The last correspondence I had with him was a meeting on his site which he threatened me with legal action for the loss of his profit if I raised a dispute and then told me to leave. Although I have tried to contact him since to find an amicable solution he refuses to respond. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Shebs - 19-Aug-18 @ 5:33 PM
Greenman - Your Question:
Our neighbour has a row of 30 ft high conifer trees in her backgarden. Also there is a 25ft buddlia and other overgrown trees and shrubs.To the side of the house is another row of 25-30ft conifer trees. The trees completely block any light from our window. Moreover light is further blocked in conservatory and debri dead leaves and dust from buddlia fall into our patio area, leaving it looking unsightly. We have spoke to our neighbour about the above, but the response we got was cost and they offer security. Where do we stand in regard to having these trees cut to a more sociable height?

Our Response:
If you can't agree between you, you may be able to take action under the above legislation. The article tells you what you need to do.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Jul-18 @ 3:02 PM
Our neighbour has a row of 30 ft high conifer trees in her backgarden. Also there is a 25ft buddlia and other overgrown trees and shrubs. To the side of the house is another row of 25-30ft conifer trees. The trees completely block any light from our window. Moreover light is further blocked in conservatory and debri dead leaves and dust from buddlia fall into our patio area, leaving it looking unsightly. We have spoke to our neighbour about the above, but the response we got was cost and they offer security. Where do we stand in regard to having these trees cut to a more sociable height?
Greenman - 27-Jul-18 @ 2:10 PM
84 ennerdale drive hedges are taking over the pathway I can’t go with my pushchair I have to walk on the road plz do something about it as a lot of people have to walk on the road because of the hedges
Nas - 4-Jul-18 @ 5:30 PM
There are 3 hedges forming the south boundary of my property. One is, in my opinion, shared responsibility as it sits on the boundary and was agreed by the former owner with my neighbour. The second is behind a party wall erected by the neighbour when they built an extension right up to the boundary. I then planted a hedge to mask it. The third and largest is the neighbours hedge, 90% on their side but overhanging my garden by about 12", which I maintain my facing wall only. Very tall very old and pleasant as it masks most of the neighbour. I caught the neighbour cutting back the party wall hedge so clearly reaching over the wall to trim my hedge. I asked them to stop and they claimed it was an accident. The shared responsibility hedge they just reached over and cut the top off on both sides. They had previously just cut their half of that hedge.The neighbour has previously threatened to remove the hedges completely to prove where the boundary is. Where do I stand legally on the trimming hedges or trying to remove them and build something else?
amalfifi - 12-Jun-18 @ 11:06 PM
tony - Your Question:
When I moved into my house 12 years ago my neighbour had already planted llyandyer conifers to the rear of my garden right against the boundary fence. At that time they were only 4m high and not a problem. However, over the years they have grown to over 25ft and now the roots of the conifers have spread into my garden and bulging above the surface absorbing all moisture from my grass that the soil and grass has dried up. Also, the branches from the trees extend way into my garden creating a canopy covering 50% of my lawn.The neighbours who planted them moved out 2 years ago and I asked the new house owners to cut them down. I have been advised by a tree surgeon that they should be removed completely as once cut they will loose their greenery and look ugly and the roots will get worse into my garden.I have tried to ask the neighbours if I can can cut the trees or bring them down to a reasonable height so they don't obstruct natural day light. They said I can give them a small trim and I have to pay for it. They say they are not liable as I failed to do anything in the years before they moved in and therefore not their responsibility.I am considering whether a remedial notice to the council is my only option? Any advice would be much appreciated. P.S I hand delivered a letter from from one of your templates advising them that if we can't resolve the matter amicably than I would go to the council.

Our Response:
You can of course cut back any overhanging growth on your side of the boundary but that may be too onerous now the trees have grown to this stage and you won't be able to cut anything from the height. The above legislation should help you. Make sure you make a list of valid reasons as to why the trees' height and breadth should be reduced. The link to government guide is provided in the article above.
ProblemNeighbours - 12-Jun-18 @ 12:25 PM
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