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High hedges

You do not usually need permission to plant a hedge in your garden, but you have a responsibility for looking after the height of the hedge so it doesn't unreasonably affect the enjoyment of adjacent properties.

What to do if a neighbour's hedge is affecting your light

If a neighbouring hedge is affecting the light to your property, the first thing to do is to talk to your neighbour. Even if you eventually ask the council to help with your complaint, you must have evidence that you and your neighbour have tried to come to a mutually acceptable agreement.

A leaflet is available with advice about talking to your neighbour called Over the Garden Hedge (PDF 1.04mb)

As well as this, there is also a leaflet entitled High Hedges: Complaining to the council (PDF 378kb) which explains what will happen if the council get involved.

The Council cannot accept a complaint until you have made every reasonable effort to discuss the problem with your neighbour. Approaching the Council should be a last resort.

Guidance documents entitled Prevention and Cure (external link) and Hedge Height and Light Loss (external link) are available at Gov UK website.  

How to make a complaint

You can only complain to the council to settle the dispute if:

  • the hedge is over 2 metres high
  • the hedge is a barrier to light or access
  • the hedge adversely affects your domestic amenity.

To get a complaint form you can:

How to appeal against a complaint or decision

If a complaint is made about a hedge you own, we will write to you and you will have the opportunity to make comments to the council. Those comments will be taken into account when we determine the complaint.

Both hedge owners and the complainants will be able to appeal against the Council's decision (external link). However, if an enforcement order is made, failure to comply could result in the case being taken to the magistrate's courts and the person could be fined up to £1,000.