High hedge complaints

What is a high hedge?

We only deal with complaints about evergreen hedges because these cause the biggest problem between neighbours.

Before you consider using the complaints procedure you must decide if the hedge you are concerned about meets the following criteria:

  • it must be growing on land owned by someone else
  • the hedge does not have to be on the boundary line or in next door’s garden, but you can only complain if the hedge relates to a residential property
  • the section of hedge that is causing problems must be made up of a line of two or more trees or shrubs. You cannot complain about individual trees or shrubs
  • it must be evergreen. This means that the hedge keeps some live or green leaves all year round. This can include privet and most coniferous types. However, it does not include beech or hornbeam hedges because the leaves they keep through the winter are dead or brown
  • it must be more than two metres tall.  Measure the trees or shrubs that make up the hedge from the base of each plant where it enters the soil. If the plant is on a bank or in a raised bed then the measurement must be taken from the original ground level, before the bank or raised bed were created
  • even though there may be gaps in the foliage or between the trees or shrubs, the hedge must still be capable of obstructing light or views.  There are no rules that say if the trees and shrubs are more than a set distance apart you cannot complain. However, where individual trees or shrubs are so widely spaced that you can see what lies behind them then it might not meet the criteria for making a complaint