Planning and regeneration High Hedges Complaints

About high hedges complaints

The law giving local Councils power to deal with complaints about "high hedges" is contained in Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 and the High Hedges (Appeals) (England) Regulations 2005.

The Act makes provision for local Councils to determine complaints by the owners/occupiers of domestic properties adversely affected by evergreen or semi evergreen hedges over 2 metres in height.

The Council are able to charge a fee for this service, which is paid by the complainant. The Council may also reject the complaint if they consider that insufficient effort has been made to resolve the matter amicably.

The Council may, if they consider it appropriate, issue a "remedial notice" requiring the owner or occupier of the land where the hedge is sited to take action to remedy the problem and to prevent it recurring. The law does not require all hedges to be reduced to, or maintained at, a height of 2 metres.

Any remedial notice may be enforced through criminal prosecution, for which the maximum fine is £1000 and/or by the Council entering the land and carrying out the necessary work if the owner/occupier fails to do so.

The Act specifically excludes complaints about the effects of roots, such as damage to property, nor does the Act allow for the remedial notice to require the reduction of the hedge to a height of less than 2 metres or the removal of the hedge. Removal includes action that would result in the death or destruction of the hedge.

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