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Resolving 'high hedge' disputes

If you and your neighbours are unable to resolve an issue about the height of an evergreen hedge there are legal procedures in place giving us the power to deal with the complaint.

Our role

Our role will be to judge whether the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property. We will take account of all relevant factors and strike a balance between the interests of the complainant and the hedge owner.

Where circumstances justify it, we will issue a formal notice on the hedge owner which will set out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem and when by.

Visit Gov.uk for information on high hedges

How to make a complaint

A complaint may be made only if the hedge

  • is formed by a line of 2 or more trees or shrubs
  • is wholly or mainly of evergreen or semi-evergreen species
  • is over 2 metres tall
  • forms a barrier to light or access at heights of more than 2 metres above ground level and this is not significantly affected by the presence of gaps

There is no guarantee that a complaint will be successful. However, if we look into the complaint and decide that the hedge is too high and action is needed, a Remedial Notice may be issued requiring specified work to be carried out to address the problems.

Failure to comply with a Remedial Notice may lead to prosecution, and/or to us entering the land, carrying out the required work and recovering costs from the hedge owner.

If you believe you have a genuine complaint, complete our  High hedge complaint form [150KB] .

How much does it cost?

The current fee for submitting a complaint form is £500.