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Are you suffering from High Hedge nuisance, dealing with high hedges and neighbours from hell?
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Read on for our free advice, help and information to help you deal with a High Hedge problem.
At the moment the problem of high hedges and neighbours from hell can be tackled via Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003). This act provides local authorities with powers to manage complaints concerning high hedges and entered into force on the 1st June, 2005.
If you're suffering with a high hedge dispute you can ask your local authority, borough or district council, to intervene regarding complaints about a neighbour's hedge (evergreen), provided that you've first demonstrated that all other means and ways to resolve your high hedge dispute have been absolutely exhausted and tried first (be prepared to evidence this).
If you've been involved within a hedge dispute over a number of years or longer, than the applicable council will require evidence that you have recently again tried to resolve and remedy the situation yourself.
When raising a formal complaint with your local authority or council, they may charge a fee for this, be sure to check this first! (Remember you can comment on your local authority or rate them at Mend Britain).
Local Authorities will not enter into a mediation role or help negotiate between neighbours who are having a high hedge dispute. Instead, they will take an 'adjudicating' role whilst taking the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, 2003 into account. As the act itself states, 'the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property'.
Whilst acting as adjudicator, the local authority or council must consider all the factors and issues that are relevant within the high hedge dispute and attempt to take a fair stance and form a reasonable overview between the high hedge owner and opposing interests and wishes of the complainant (the person suffering via the nuisance). The local authority also needs to consider the interests and impacts of and on the community at large.
...the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property (Anti-Social Behaviour Act, 2003).
Within this notice, the local authority or council will stipulate and detail what the hedge owner has to do to resolve and remedy the problem; notices also will give time limits and a deadline completion date. If a high hedge owner fails to complete the 'remedial' work or acts required, this then becomes an offence, which after a successful prosecution may lead to a hefty fine of up to £1,000.
Key Points to remember:
- A hedge owner doesn't need to first gain permission to grow a hedge over 2 metres.
- Legislation currently in place doesn't cover deciduous or single trees.
- Local Authorities or Councils cannot place a requirement that a hedge has to be removed.
- The legislation will not give any guarantees around 'access to uninterrupted light'.
- Currently, there is no way to issue an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) with regard to complaints of high hedges.
- The law is not insisting that hedges must be reduced to a height of 2 metres.
Regarding the above, if a hedge does grow over 2 metres in height, the council/local authority will not automatically take any action, before a complaint that is justified is first made.
When complaints are made to local authorities it will not necessarily follow-on to an order from them to make your neighbour lower their high hedge height. Councils and local authorities first have to consider all the issues fairly in each case received and treat them all individually.
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