High hedges and overhanging trees
High hedges and overhanging trees can be a nuisance and cause upset and disputes. Find out about how we can help using the links below:
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High hedges regulations
A hedge can be a great boundary between properties as it provides nesting places for birds, gives shelter for small animals and birds moving through gardens and can be an attractive backdrop for other trees and plants. In some cases however tall evergreen hedges can cause problems for those living nearby.
If your neighbour's hedges are causing concern, we first advise you to talk to your neighbour - they may be unaware that it is causing you a problem. Take some time to think about what problems you are having, write them down if it helps, so that you can approach your neighbour calmly. Sometimes taking a few photos to show them can help them appreciate your concerns.
If you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge dispute, you can now take your complaint about a neighbour's evergreen hedge to us. We have powers to deal with complaints about high hedges. The law relates only to hedges that are composed mainly of evergreen trees. Often these are conifer hedges.
There is no rule setting a maximum height for conifer hedges across the country. We can only set a height for a hedge if the formal complaint procedure is undertaken. Each hedge is assessed on its own merits and in relation to the properties around it.
You can find out more about the high hedges regulations in the leaflet high hedges - complaining to the council. The leaflet gives guidance on who can complain, what you need to do in order to make a complaint, what the legislation means for a hedge owner and how a complaint is dealt with.
Our planning enforcement team can answer your questions about the high hedges regulations. However, we cannot mediate between neighbours, give specific advice or visit your property, unless a complaint is registered. This is to make sure we are impartial in order that it can act as an independent decision-maker.
Please call our high hedges officer on 01543 308274 or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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If your neighbour's tree(s) is overhanging your property, we first advise you to talk to your neighbour - they may be unaware that it is causing you a problem.
Take some time to think about what problems you are having, write them down if it helps, so that you can approach your neighbour calmly. Sometimes taking a few photos to show them can help them appreciate your concerns.
If they decide not to act, then you can arrange to prune back any overhanging branches - but only as far as the boundary. Remember to return the branches to your neighbour or ask them how they would like the branches disposed of.
Before you do any work we advise you to check whether the tree is protected by contacting the our arboricultural team. If it is protected you will need to apply for consent to do the work.
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How to check if a tree is protected
You can check whether there are any restrictions by calling our arboricultural team on 01543 308207 or 01543 308185 or by emailing email@example.com