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High Hedges

You may be able to complain about a neighbours (high) hedge under Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.

If you’ve taken the steps listed in Over the garden hedge and can answer ‘yes’ to all the points listed below, we are likely to be able to consider your complaint.

Is the hedge (or the part of it that’s causing problems) a ‘high hedge’? Is the hedge:

  • growing on land owned or occupied by someone else?
  • made up of a line of 2 or more trees or shrubs?
  • mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen?
  • more than 2 metres tall?
  • a barrier to light or access (even if there are gaps)?
  • Does this hedge’s height harm the reasonable enjoyment of a home you own or occupy and/or its garden or yard?
  • Are you the owner or occupier of this domestic property?

Fees of £538 apply which we will ask for once the application has been approved.

Gov.UK have produced a series of documents to help guide you though the process of complaining about a high hedge.

It is an offence to remove a hedgerow in the open countryside without first obtaining a written notice giving permission. If the hedgerow is protected or important, we may issue a hedgerow retention notice requiring the hedgerow to be kept.

You can apply to remove a countryside hedgerow in an open countryside by submitting an application form.

You do not need to tell us that you are removing a hedgerow if:

  • It is less than 20m long, is not part of a 20m length and does not meet another hedge at either end
  • It is in or borders a domestic dwelling
  • You are making a new opening to replace existing access to the land (the previous access gap must be filled by planting a hedge within 8 months of making the new opening)
  • You are correctly managing the hedgerow by laying or coppicing
  • There is no other cost-effective way of accessing your land
  • You need to create a temporary access point for emergency purposes
  • The land is needed for national defence purposes
  • It is for carrying out work which has planning permission
  • It is to eradicate or prevent disease or tree pests by law (for example, a plant health (forestry) order)
  • It is to prevent interference with or damage to electric power lines and apparatus
  • It is to complete legally permitted drainage or flood defence works
  • New trunk roads or motorways are being built on the site

For information on the removal of countryside hedgerows see:

An overgrown roadside hedge should be reported in the first instance through fix my street. Select the appropriate description under the vegetation category in the dropdown list.

Last updated 12 April 2024