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Trees, woodlands and high hedges

High hedges

Since 1 June 2005, local authorities have had power to deal with complaints about high hedges under Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. We do not act as a mediator or negotiator in these cases but instead adjudicate as to whether the hedge is preventing a property owner from reasonable enjoyment of their property.

Before a council becomes involved, it is up to the complainant to prove they have taken a number of steps to sort out the problem with the hedge owner. We will only become involved if the hedge:

  • is more than two metres high
  • is comprised of evergreens and semi-evergreens
  • includes at least two trees or shrubs roughly in line, and
  • the applicant can demonstrate they have taken reasonable steps to resolve the dispute amicably.

The act gives local authorities the power to issue remedial notices to rectify high hedge problems. Remedial notices can require the hedge be reduced to a minimum height of two metres - they cannot enforce the removal of the hedge or guarantee access to uninterrupted light.

Failure to carry out the work listed in the remedial notice is an offence and the hedge owner could be prosecuted and could possibly be fined up to £1,000.

For more information on high hedges, please visit the Communities and Local Government website or contact us using our online form, by selecting General Enquiries

Make a general Planning enquiry

If you need urgent advice you can call us on 01744 676789 and speak to our Contact Centre advisers