Part 8 of The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 provides help for residents of a property affected by hedges located on neighbouring land. You can complain to us provided that the hedge in dispute meets the following:
- it is an evergreen hedge
- the hedge is over 2 metres high
- it is unreasonably obstructing light to your home and/or garden
- you have tried to resolve the matter with your neighbour before approaching the council
More information on high hedges and complaining to the council can be found at GOV.UK
You have to go through a process of negotiation before submitting a formal complaint about a neighbour's hedge. We will reject a complaint if we consider that you have not done everything you reasonably could to settle the matter with your neighbour. The government guidance leaflet, Over the garden hedge, gives advice on how to settle your hedge differences without involving the local authority.
If you cannot resolve the dispute between you and your neighbour you may consider making a formal complaint to us. Before you do, you may wish to read the government guidance on Hedge Height and Light Loss and their spreadsheet to calculate action . This will help you assess whether an evergreen hedge is blocking too much daylight and sunlight to neighbouring properties.
Making a complaint and fees
To make a complaint select the appropriate council below to which you wish to make a complaint to complete the form and get information about our fees.
This is your chance to set out your case so it is important that you provide full information on the form. In particular, think carefully about your grounds of complaint.
Explain the problems that you actually experience in your house and garden, as clearly as you can, caused by the hedge being too tall and why these problems are serious. Stick to the facts and provide all relevant information to back up the points you are making. If you are having trouble filling in the form, your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help.
Once we are satisfied that your complaint meets the legal tests, we will invite your neighbour to set out their case. When we have both sides of the story, the Specialist Officer will visit the site to see the hedge and its surroundings and to take measurements and photographs.
We will then consider the relevant information and decide whether the hedge adversely affects the reasonable enjoyment of your home and garden and what, if anything should be done about it.
If we decide that action is necessary, we will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which will set out what they must do to the hedge and when they must do it by. This is known as a remedial notice which can also require the hedge owner to keep the hedge trimmed to its new size.
Appealing a Decision
If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to the independent Planning Inspectorate. They must receive your appeal within 28 days of the date of the decision letter.
Both the hedge owner and the complainant can appeal against our decision.
Appeal a high hedge decision