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High hedges policy

2. When you can make a complaint

When considering whether a particular hedge can be the subject of a complaint, the following questions need to be addressed:

  • Is the hedge comprised wholly or predominantly of evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs?
  • Are there two or more trees or shrubs in it and are these roughly in line?
  • Is it over two metres in height?
  • Does the hedge act, to some degree, as a barrier to light or access – even though it might have gaps in it?

If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you can make a complaint.

Anyone making a complaint to the council must show that:

  • The problems with the hedge are related to its height and
  • It is adversely affecting the reasonable enjoyment of their own property

This could include obstruction of daylight and sunlight or potential loss of view.

Someone could bring a complaint under the Act if the neighbouring high hedge affects their own garden, making it feel claustrophobic. Impact on growing plants can also be considered.

The following factors are not relevant to a high hedge complaint:

  • fears that the hedge will break or fall
  • that the effect of the hedge has led to health problems
  • that other hedges in the area are maintained at a lower height
  • that the hedge was there before the affected property was built or before the complainant moved into it
  • that the roots of the hedge are affecting neighbouring land or property