Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, which gives
local authorities powers to deal with complaints about high hedges will
come into operation in England on 1 June 2005.
From 1 June 2005, provided they have tried and exhausted
all other avenues for resolving their hedge dispute, people will be able
to take their complaint about a neighbour's evergreen hedge to their local
authority – your district or borough Council.
The role of the local authority is not to mediate or
negotiate between the complainant and the hedge owner but to adjudicate
on whether - in the words of the Act - the hedge is adversely affecting
the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property. In doing so,
the authority must take account of all relevant factors and must strike
a balance between the competing interests of the complainant and hedge
er, as well as the interests of the wider community.
If they consider the circumstances justify it, the local
authority will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which will set
out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem, and when by.
Failure to carry out the works required by the authority is an offence
which, on prosecution, could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.
- The legislation does not require all hedges to be cut
down to a height of 2 metres
- You do not have to get permission to grow a hedge above
- When a hedge grows over 2 metres the local authority
does not automatically take action, unless a justifiable complaint is
- If you complain to your local authority, it does not
follow automatically that they will order your neighbour to reduce the
height of their hedge. They have to weigh up all the issues and consider
each case on its merits
- The legislation does not cover single or deciduous t
- The local authority cannot require the hedge to be removed
- The legislation does not guarantee access to uninterrupt
- There is no provision to serve an Anti-Social Behaviour
Order (ASBO) in respect of high hedge complaints.
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