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People & Communities

What is a high hedge?

Anti-social behaviour legislation defines a high hedge as being:

  • made up of evergreen, or semi-evergreen, trees and shrubs

  • made of two or more trees/shrubs, which are roughly in line

  • over 2 metres in height

  • a barrier to light or access (partially or fully, even if it has gaps in it).

For example: A row of 6 conifers, 4 metres high, blocking light to the lounge window of a house next door could be classed as a high hedge.

A row of 5 metre high beech trees that lose their leaves in winter wouldn't be classed as a high hedge. 

'Over the garden hedge' offers guidance to help you agree what is right for you and your neighbours. Please ensure you read this first before continuing.

Complaining to us 

You should only contact the council as a last resort.

If you submit a formal complaint to us, you must complete the enquiry form below. You will need to provide evidence that you have:

  • told your neighbour that you are going to complain

  • provided evidence of all the steps you have taken to resolve the matter so far (letters to neighbour, etc).

These interactions to try to resolve the high hedge issues must have taken place over the past six months. If you cannot provide the evidence to show this, we will ask you to try again before we investigate further. 

To make a complaint, you need to complete our online form, giving evidence of all the steps you've taken to try and resolve the matter so far.

On review of the enquiry, an officer from the Community Protection and Enforcement Team will be in touch to discuss the next steps.

'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.

We can refuse to intervene if we think you haven't done everything you reasonably could to settle your dispute. 

Make a Complaint about a High Hedge

The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 Section 8 grants us powers to deal with your complaint. If we consider your complaint to be within the guidelines of a high hedge you will have to pay for this service. This will include a full survey and report of the location, light loss, height in relation to distance from the affected property.

The fee has been set at £450 (inclusive of VAT).  

A Community Protection and Enforcement officer will contact both parties involved to see if the issue can be resolved in a civil manner first. If that intervention fails, it will be your decision to pay for the full survey and move to the formal report stage.

The formal report conclusions cannot guarantee that you will receive the desired outcome, as the survey calculations gives a recommended hedge height.