Consent is required from the Council for the removal of hedgerows in open countryside. It is an offence to remove hedgerow without first obtaining consent.

What do I do if my neighbour's hedge is too high?

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2005 includes a mechanism for addressing high hedge complaints. It covers any evergreen or semi-evergreen hedge over 2 metres tall. That is two or more trees/shrubs in a row that form a continuous screen above 2 meters from ground level. The law is only relevant to the height of the hedge, not spread because you can already cut back overhanging parts under your Common Law rights.

You may complain to the Council if the 'reasonable enjoyment of your property is being affected' and you cannot sort it out with your neighbour however hard you try. The complaint must relate to a high hedge as defined by the law, so ask yourself these questions:

If the answer to all these questions is 'yes', then it is a 'high hedge' under the law.

If your neighbour's hedge is affecting the reasonable enjoyment of your property (domestic only) and it fulfils the above criteria and you have already tried to resolve the matter to no avail, then you can complain to the Council. This is quite a complex process but will seek to find a balance between the needs of the complainant and hedge owner.

There is a fee of £450 to make a complaint, this needs to be submitted with the completed form below:

The fee is non-recoverable after 14 days of registration.

If the complainant is successful, the Council will issue a notice that will require works to be undertaken. If the works are not undertaken the Council may undertake them and recharge the hedge owner. The notice applies in perpetuity unless a successful appeal is made against it or it is quashed at a future date. Any notices served become a 'land charge' that will show up in land searches.

If either party is unhappy with this process, they can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Contact details

Planning Technical Support
Email this service
01327 322237

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