Neighbourhood nuisance

High hedges

The Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 allows local authorities to adjudicate in neighbour disputes over high hedges.

There are grounds for complaint if the hedge is so tall that it detracts from the enjoyment of your home or garden, obstructing light or views. 

What constitutes a high hedge?

  • The hedge is growing on land owned by someone else
  • The hedge is more than 2 metres tall
  • The hedge is made up of 2 or more trees or shrubs
  • The hedge is capable of obstructing light or views

When and how to complain 

  • Residents should not complain straight to the council.
  • They must first attempt to solve the problem amicably with their neighbour, failing which they can complain to the council.
  • Guidance on how to approach your neighbour can be found on GOV.UK
  • Evidence of negotiations with your neighbours must be produced to the council before we will consider your complaint.
  • You will be asked to pay a fee in order to apply to the council to consider your complaint. This fee is non-refundable; you will not be reimbursed if your complaint is upheld.

What we will do

  • A complaints form will be sent to you to complete and return with the fee
  • Once the council has decided to accept your complaint, making sure it has met all legal tests, they will ask your neighbour to set out their case, after which an officer will be sent out to look at the problem for themselves
  • If the officer decides action is needed they will present your neighbour with a formal notice which will require your them to cut the hedge to a reasonable size, and keep the hedge trimmed to this size in the future

If you would like to make a complaint abut a neighbour's high hedge(s), please use the online enquiry form.

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