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Unhappy With a Neighbour's High Hedge?

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 11 Sep 2018 | 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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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
Rose - Your Question:
We have a party privet hedge with our neighbour. They have tried to lower it before but we have asked them to stop at cutting off new grow to maintain it's height. They cannot pretend that they do not know our views as we stopped someone they'd hired to lower it from doing so two years ago when we told the contractor it was a party hedge and they didn't have our permission to cut it.Today they cut 23" off the hedge without our permission. It's 2 foot wide so their contractor had to lean over to our side over a length of 10-12 feet to cut it down. Now from the level of our lounge floor to the top of the hedge is only 4' 9", so we can see in to their conservatory and they can see in to our lounge. From the garden level the hedge is about 5' 5"We've maintained that a decent size hedge gives us both privacy and whenever we've trimmed it we've asked for permission.I"m very angry, too angry to talk to them at present. Any ideas as to our rights?

Our Response:
This is something you will have to resolve between you either through discussion, via mediation or via the courts. In cases of joint/shared boundary fences or hedges the usual process is for both parties to agree before any work is carried out. As for the height there are no specific height requirements...except that 2 metres (or higher) from the base of the hedge is the figure where high hedges legislation could be used and also general planning laws stipulate 2m as a maximum height for fences in a rear garden.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Jul-18 @ 2:50 PM
We have a party privet hedge with our neighbour. They have tried to lower it before but we have asked them to stop at cutting off new grow to maintain it's height. They cannot pretend that they do not know our views as we stopped someone they'd hired to lower it from doing so two years ago when we told the contractor it was a party hedge and they didn't have our permission to cut it. Today they cut 23" off the hedge without our permission. It's 2 foot wide so their contractor had to lean over to our side over a length of 10-12 feet to cut it down. Now from the level of our lounge floor to the top of the hedge is only 4' 9", so we can see in to their conservatory and they can see in to our lounge. From the garden level the hedge is about 5' 5" We've maintained that a decent size hedge gives us both privacy and whenever we've trimmed it we've asked for permission. I"m very angry, too angry to talk to them at present. Any ideas as to our rights?
Rose - 3-Jul-18 @ 6:28 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
I am a high hedge victim. The neighbour at the back got 15 feet high Leyland but as I'm on a slope it's more like 18 feet high as my property is set lower than the nneighbour withthe leylandii. He says he will cut it annually but doesn't bother . I find this overbearing and spoils the enjoyment of my garden. It also leaves me feeling worried as he may just let it grow higher and higher still. What's happens if I want to sell my house. I have spoken to him 3 times in 4 years but just fobs me off. Is their a template anyone can send me so I can post it through his door with photos from my side of the garden. I want to put some pressure on him to get something done
Jam donut - 12-Jun-18 @ 1:58 AM
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 anythingin 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.
tony - 9-Jun-18 @ 10:43 AM
Mark - Your Question:
We have scrubs over there 6ft fence in our garden the neighbore has threatened us with legal matters if we don't cut it down to the 6ft fence hight were we stand with it in the eyes of the law there 3 shrubs and one bloosems if that makes a different and not evergreen regards

Our Response:
There are no laws about the height of shrubs. If the fence belongs to your neighbour however, you must not let your shrubs grow against it; make sure they are free standing or grow against a self supported trellis. If any branches grow over your neighbour's airspace, they can cut them back as far as the boundary.
ProblemNeighbours - 16-May-18 @ 11:22 AM
We have scrubs over there 6ft fence in our garden the neighbore has threatened us with legal matters if we don't cut it down to the 6ft fence hight were we stand with it in the eyes of the law there 3 shrubs and one bloosems if that makes a different and not evergreen regards
Mark - 14-May-18 @ 7:53 PM
Chuckyjimbo - Your Question:
Hi I bought a new build house with an 8m south facing garden. Our rear neighbour has a 5m high row of tress that blocks out all our light in the garden. If we raise a dispute will it matter that the house was built with the trees/hedge in-situ. Outside of this point we believe we have a case for requesting it be reduced to a more reasonable height to give better light.

Our Response:
The simple answer is to try...first of all, talk to the neighbour and ask if they will reduce the height of the trees. If they refuse, the above legislation may help.
ProblemNeighbours - 11-May-18 @ 2:10 PM
Jam donut - Your Question:
Hi my neighbour at the back of me has eight leylandii and 14 feet high.He makes one excuse after another why he hasn't had it cut.Just lies to me.It's like he's doing this to wind me up. He is about late 70s and he comes across A bit rude to talk to. When I knock his door. I am very polite when I talk to him. I get the impression his letting it grow to annoy his neighbour. I could be wrong as it maybe a money issue as its expensive getting the hedge cut. I have offered him money to help in the past but he says no it's ok they are my responsibility and I will sort them. But he fails to get it cut annually and makes excuses up.Does anyone know what this problem is about as its doing my head in looking at a giant green wall everyday. I could get the council involved but it's not blocking light into my house yet but it's a very high hedge for such a built up culdasac.

Our Response:
Check the details in the above article, it's not just daylight that is considered with cases dealt with under high hedges legislation. We have no idea why your neighbour is reluctant to get the work done.
ProblemNeighbours - 11-May-18 @ 1:51 PM
Hi I bought a new build house with an 8m south facing garden. Our rear neighbour has a 5m high row of tress that blocks out all our light in the garden. If we raise a dispute will it matter that the house was built with the trees/hedge in-situ. Outside of this point we believe we have a case for requesting it be reduced to a more reasonable height to give better light.
Chuckyjimbo - 10-May-18 @ 12:00 PM
Hi my neighbour at the back of me has eight leylandii and 14 feet high. He makes one excuse after another why he hasn't had it cut. Just lies to me. It's like he's doing this to wind me up . He is about late 70s and he comes across A bit rude to talk to. When I knock his door. I am very polite when I talk to him. I get the impression his letting it grow to annoy his neighbour. I could be wrong as it maybe a money issue as its expensive getting the hedge cut. I have offered him money to help in the past but he says no it's ok they are my responsibility and I will sort them. But he fails to get it cut annually and makes excuses up. Does anyone know what this problem is about as its doing my head in looking at a giant green wall everyday. I could get the council involved but it's not blocking light into my house yet but it's a very high hedge for such a built up culdasac.
Jam donut - 9-May-18 @ 11:41 PM
Rex - Your Question:
We had an array of shrubs grown over 40 years which used to act as the boundary - I have been living in the house for almost 3 years and have always maintained the shrubs. My neighbour decided to uproot them without asking us with some contractors while she is away on holidays. She now has claimed a part of the land which is clearly not a straight line as we have 2 more gardens backing off to us before this neighbour's garden start from the back. The neighbour is really not considerate and always try to move the boundary line as she wishes and she says she is responsible for that side of the boundary. What should I do. Should I contact the council? Is my only way is to go via a civil court?

Our Response:
The council will not be able to do anyting her unless it's council property. Yes the civil courts are probably your best course of action.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-May-18 @ 3:27 PM
We had an array of shrubs grown over 40 years which used to act as the boundary - I have been living in the house for almost 3 years and have always maintained the shrubs. My neighbour decided to uproot them without asking us with some contractors while she is away on holidays. She now has claimed a part of the land which is clearly not a straight line as we have 2 more gardens backing off to us before this neighbour's garden start from the back. The neighbour is really not considerate and always try to move the boundary line as she wishes and she says she is responsible for that side of the boundary. What should I do. Should I contact the council? Is my only way is to go via a civil court?
Rex - 9-May-18 @ 10:09 AM
Our there is a hedge between us and the neighbour says its his now half is dead but still stood and the other is pushing 3.2 meters as i say he says the hedge is his but when i look down the line of the front wll to the cavity of the houses it looks like its on the boundary .now we have a dog and we would like it to have roam in our garden when we are outside so i would lile to build a wall on our property but his hedge is overhanging and i dare say some of it has grown on our side i would say its about 50 years old privit how do i go about solving this we have had a asbo on the chap in the past so he is beyond talking to
Army - 1-Apr-18 @ 7:44 AM
Lopper - Your Question:
Bought my property a few years ago.Neighbour at the back of me has 8 Leyland trees and 14 feet high.He fobs me off when I ask him to get it cut. He let it grow for 3 years and only then got it 2feet cut off the top and told me he couldn't have anymore off which is total rubbish. I have a six foot fence and then a wall of conifers to look at everyday 7-8 feet high on top.It's driving me insane and I can only think why he is doing for the reason to be nasty. It does not block the light coming into my house but it is very overpowering in my small garden. There is. No need for it to be that high. None of the other neighbours have hedges they are looked after and consider their neighbours but I guess I'm the unlucky one with a inconsiderate neighbour.

Our Response:
If you use the above legislation to complain that the hedge detracts from the reasonable enjoyment of your property or garden, the council will consider all relevant factors, including light, views and the need for privacy.
ProblemNeighbours - 28-Mar-18 @ 2:30 PM
Bought my property a few years ago. Neighbour at the back of me has 8 Leyland trees and 14 feet high. He fobs me off when I ask him to get it cut . He let it grow for 3 years and only then got it 2feet cut off the top and told me he couldn't have anymore off which is total rubbish.I have a six foot fence and then a wall of conifers to look at everyday 7-8 feet high on top. It's driving me insane and I can only think why he is doing for the reason to be nasty. It does not block the light coming into my house but it is very overpowering in my small garden. There is. No need for it to be that high . None of the other neighbours have hedges they are looked after and consider their neighbours but I guess I'm the unlucky one with a inconsiderate neighbour.
Lopper - 26-Mar-18 @ 10:57 PM
Leesa - Your Question:
I am moving into a grade 2 listed house that has only a front garden (large). There are two other houses that face the side of my garden which leads directly on to the road. At the moment, this is an open plan garden, with no fence or hedging to mark the boundary. As this will be my only garden, I want to plant a hedgerow (just a meter or so high) to outline the entire garden and allow me some privacy. The hedgerow will run, on one side, along the front of their houses. Do I have to ensure that it sits below their windows so that they receive the same amount of light into their homes as they always have? The garden is not listed, only the house and the land registry records clearly show the entire garden as belonging only to my house.

Our Response:
If you keep the hedge to a reasonable height this should be fine. In general a neighbour can pursue an action of the hedge is a significant barrier to light or access and rises to a height of more than two metres above ground level.It might be worth a call to your planning authority to make sure there are not locally imposed conditions on hedges/fences in your area (your deeds might also make mention of this).
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Mar-18 @ 11:51 AM
I am moving into a grade 2 listed house that has only a front garden (large). There are two other houses that face the side of my garden which leads directly on to the road.At the moment, this is an open plan garden, with no fence or hedging to mark the boundary.As this will be my only garden, I want to plant a hedgerow (just a meter or so high) to outline the entire garden and allow me some privacy.The hedgerow will run, on one side, along the front of their houses.Do I have to ensure that it sits below their windows so that they receive the same amount of light into their homes as they always have?The garden is not listed, only the house and the land registry records clearly show the entire garden as belonging only to my house.
Leesa - 20-Mar-18 @ 4:02 PM
marianne - Your Question:
For years we have had problems with neighbours hedge. This he allows to overgrow so our exit view (by car) is obstructed. Last year-after several calls to local authority he finally cut it. However, he also has piled up clay (on which a variety of weeds now grow) and which also attracts vermin. It also affects view from our window.This is entrance to a far. There is no point in trying to talk to said farmer. Despite several complaints to council and health authorities nothing has been done. Advice appreciated.

Our Response:
There really isn't much you can do about the piled up soil/clay and weeds - but if there is no food there, it's no more likely to attract vermin than a field, wildlife meadow or even garden. Farms do attract mice and even rats unfortunately. If the hedge grows over the road or pavement, the farmer has to cut it back and as you know, the council will follow this up for you if you raise a complaint.
ProblemNeighbours - 14-Feb-18 @ 9:55 AM
For years we have had problems with neighbours hedge. This he allows to overgrow so our exit view (by car) is obstructed. Last year-after several calls to local authority he finally cut it. However, he also has piled up clay (on which a variety of weeds now grow) and which also attracts vermin. It also affects view from our window. This is entrance to a far. There is no point in trying to talk to said farmer. Despite several complaints to council and health authorities nothing has been done. Advice appreciated.
marianne - 12-Feb-18 @ 3:07 PM
Marco - Your Question:
We bought a new-build property and out neighbours moved in to their property six months later after their completion date.They planted conifers in their front lawn along the front to border on the pavement and also to the left-side, bordering on our 9ft wide driveway, only 10cm away from our border.These conifers have started to 'take root' and are now nearing 3ft diameter, which is encroaching onto my driveway by nearly 18", thus reducing my driveway width and ease of getting in and out of my car.What rights do I have to cut these conifers back? If I have to trim them back, they would then be like 'semi-circle conifers' which will be green on the neighbours side and bare branches on my side.I bought this house with a 9ft driveway and intend it to stay that way.

Our Response:
You can cut them back to the boundary. It's probably best to discuss this with your neighbour, they may agree to remove them or allow you to do as you say and render them bare on your side etc.
ProblemNeighbours - 29-Jan-18 @ 2:04 PM
We bought a new-build property and out neighbours moved in to their property six months later after their completion date. They planted conifers in their front lawn along the front to border on the pavement and also to the left-side, bordering on our 9ft wide driveway, only 10cm away from our border. These conifers have started to 'take root' and are now nearing 3ft diameter, which is encroaching onto my driveway by nearly 18", thus reducing my driveway width and ease of getting in and out of my car. What rights do I have to cut these conifers back?If I have to trim them back, they would then be like 'semi-circle conifers' which will be green on the neighbours side and bare branches on my side. I bought this house with a 9ft driveway and intend it to stay that way.
Marco - 27-Jan-18 @ 11:37 AM
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