Definition of a hedge
The legal definition of a hedge can be found in Part 8, Section 66, of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. Generally a line of two or more evergreens rising to a height of more than two metres above ground level constitute a hedge.
Over the garden hedge
A hedge can be cheap to create and last for a long time. It can help bring wildlife into your garden; and its flowers, berries and leaves can add colour. The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary but the wrong hedge may bring problems. A hedge outside your property can be a hazard to other people. The leaflet 'Over the garden hedge' offers guidance to help you agree what is right for you and your neighbours.
Planting a new hedge
You don't normally need permission to plant a hedge in your garden. And there are no laws that say how high you can grow your hedge. But you are responsible for looking after any hedge on your property and for making sure it is not a nuisance to anyone else. This means trimming the hedge regularly, both its top and all sides.
The wrong hedge - what to do about it
Problems can occur if a hedge is allowed to grow unchecked. If you are troubled by someone else's hedge, the best way to deal with the issue is to talk to them about it. It is in both your interests to try and sort things out. After all, you have to continue to live near each other and so it is better if you are on good terms. Calling in ourselves or going to court might make matters worse.
Complaining to us
The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 grants us powers to deal with your complaint. You will have to pay us for this service. The fee has been set at £489 (inclusive of VAT). Involving us should be a last resort if you really can't agree a solution. We can refuse to intervene if we think you haven't done everything you reasonably could to settle your dispute. The leaflet 'High hedges: complaining to the Council' explains the procedure for making a complaint when all other means of settling your hedge dispute have been exhausted.
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