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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 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 make a complaint under the Act if the neighbouring high hedge affects their own garden. 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