Who should I contact regarding a hedge, which is
obstructing a pavement, road, streetlight or road sign?
a hedge causing an obstruction here
What can I do if I have a problem with my neighbour's hedge?
If you have a dispute with a neighbour about the height of a
hedge, we have powers to intervene, but this should only be as a
last resort after you've done everything possible to reach an
agreement between yourselves. You will also be required to provide
evidence of your attempts at a private resolution.
If you've tried to resolve the dispute yourself, and can answer
'yes' to all these questions, we'll consider your complaint:
- Is the hedge growing on land owned by your neighbour?
- Is it made up of a line of two or more trees or shrubs?
- Is it mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen?
- Does it block access, views or light, even though there might
be gaps in the foliage?
The Council will not normally get involved in disputes over high
hedges. If they do, the non-refundable charge for this service will
be £500 for the first complaint and £200 for each repeat complaint
related to the same notice.
To help people resolve high hedge disputes amicably the Dept for
Communities and Local Government has produced a leaflet, called
the Garden Hedge" (PDF 1MB).
My neighbour's trees encroach over my boundary, can I cut them
Your Common Law rights allow you to remove
branches that cross over your boundary without the need to seek
your neighbour's permission. Notifying your neighbour of your
intentions is always advisable. However, you must not cross the
boundary to do so.
For example, leaning a ladder over the
boundary to rest against the trunk of the tree could be classed as
trespass. You should not dispose of the branches or any other waste
material from the tree over your fence into your neighbour's
garden, but first ask your neighbour if they wish to have the
material returned to them. If they don't want it, it will be your
responsibility to dispose of it.
If a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation
Order, or because it is located within a Conservation Area, the
Common Law right is removed and you will need to seek formal
permission from the Council before undertaking work to living parts
of the tree.