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Make a high hedge complaint

Warning triangle

A high hedge complaint can be made by owners of a domestic property who are adversely affected by evergreen hedges over two metres high.

Can I make a complaint?

You can only make a complaint to us if:

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

How to make a complaint

If a neighbouring hedge is affecting the light to your property, the first thing to do is to talk to your neighbour. you must have evidence that you and your neighbour have tried to come to a mutually acceptable agreement, before we can accept a complaint. Contacting us should be the last resort.

1. Talk to your neighbour

Be prepared

Before contacting your neighbour, be clear in your own mind about:

  • What the problem is
  • How it affects you
  • What you would like to happen

Arrange a time to talk

Once you have decided what you are going to say, sort out a time and place to speak to your neighbour face to face, rather than pushing a note through their door. Don't rush them into a discussion too soon, as they need time to think, and consider inviting them to your home so they can see the issue from your side of the hedge.

If you and your neighbour aren't on speaking terms, you may want to write a letter first. Be polite, don't dwell on past failures and stick to the facts by answering the questions in the 'be prepared' section.

Reach a lasting solution

When you get together with your neighbour welcome the chance to sort the issue out by:

  • politely saying what the problem is and how it affects you (show them the issue if possible)
  • be honest and say how you feel, but be prepared for your neighbour to do the same without interrupting them
  • Try to understand each other's point of view and reach a lasting solution

2. Talk to a mediator 

If your neighbour refuses to talk to you, you can ask for the help of independent mediators. Mediators are totally impartial. They don't tell you what to do but help you and your neighbour to work towards finding your own answer. You can approach them even if your neighbour hasn't yet agreed to take part. But for mediation to be a success, both you and your neighbour must co-operate in the process.

If you are reluctant to meet your neighbour, mediators might offer what is known as 'shuttle mediation'. This involves them going between you and your neighbour, explaining your needs and suggestions to one another until a solution is found. 

For more information and to find your nearest community mediation service visit GOV.UK - resolving neighbour disputes.

3. Report it to us

If you have made every reasonable effort to discuss the problem with your neighbour and you have not managed to resolve the issue, please complete the following online form:

High hedge complaint form

What happens next?

Our role would be to adjudicate on whether the hedge is adversely affecting the reasonable enjoyment of your property.

If we find that it breaches the act, we will issue a formal notice to the hedge owner, which will set out what they must do to fix the problem and by when.

If the hedge owner fails to carry out the works specified, they could be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.

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