High Hedge Complaints

High Hedges and Complaining to the Council:

 

The Council is committed to the wellbeing of our community. We recognise the upset, inconvenience and adverse impact on amenity that can come from a high hedge. High hedge legislation has been introduced by the Government. Before contacting the Council regarding your complaint, try to resolve the situation with your neighbour first.

These pages will help answer any queries and explain the procedure for making a complaint.

The council has an information guide High Hedges and Complaining to The Council

 

Further guidance and information is available from Communities and Local Government

If the hedge is owned by the Council still send your complaint to us. The Council will make sure it is dealt with by different people from those who look after the land where the hedge is.

You are advised to read all the above guidance before submitting your complaint.

 

The Complaint:

 

If you are the owner or occupier of a residential property and the hedge is:

  • growing on land owned 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
  • is the hedge of obstructing light or views

The complaint should be based on problems that you experience in your house and garden because the hedge is too tall and the disadvantages this can cause.

Subsidence isn't connected to the height of the hedge, but stems from the roots taking moisture from the soil. The Act specifically says that Councils cannot deal with problems caused by roots.

 

Fees:

The Government has determined that a fee be paid to us for this service. The fee is currently £350.

 

How do I make a complaint?:

 

You can submit your complaint by:

Please provide full information on the form and think carefully about the grounds of complaint. Explain clearly the problems experienced in your house and garden because of the hedge being too tall, and why these are serious issues.

 

Send the completed form by post or email to planning.admin@ashfield.gov.uk

Send a copy to your neighbours so they are aware of the situation. The council will also send them a copy. Enclose the right fee with the form otherwise the complaint will not be considered.

 

The Process:

 

Once we have reviewed your complaint we will speak to your neighbour regarding the complaint. A Council officer will inspect the hedge and surroundings and gather any further facts they may require to decide the complaint, thus ensuring we can make the right decision.

Once we have gathered all the required information we will decide whether action is necessary. If action is necessary we will issue a formal notice to your neighbour that explains what they must do to comply with the Remedial Notice.

Timescales involved for dealing with your complaint.

  • Upon being informed of your complaint we will send to you the necessary forms within 2 working days.
  • Upon receipt of the complaint form and the relevant fee, and if we are satisfied with your complaint, you will be notified in writing.
  • Within 5 working days of receiving your complaint the person(s) about whom you are complaining will be invited to set out their case within 4 weeks.
  • Within 3 weeks of receiving all relevant information the site will be visited and an assessment made of the problem.
  • Within 12 weeks of receiving a valid complaint you will be informed of the action the Council will take or a reason for not taking action
  • Where a notice is served you will be informed within 2 working days of the Notice and its requirements.

 

After the Notice has been served:

 

As well as reducing the height of the hedge, we can order your neighbour to take action to prevent these issues occurring again. This could include keeping the hedge within its new height. The remedial notice issued by the Council will set out any such maintenance requirement.

Failure to carry out the works ordered by the Council is an offence. Your neighbour could be prosecuted and, if found guilty in the magistrates court, could be fined up to £1,000.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to the independent Planning Inspectorate. They must receive your appeal within 28 days of the date of our decision letter. There is a separate leaflet "High hedges: appealing against the Council's decision" that explains how you can appeal and how your appeal will be handled.

You should be aware that your neighbour can also appeal if they are unhappy with our decision.