Definition of a high hedge
High hedges are covered by Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
In this Act a high hedge is defined as two or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs, which are over two metres tall. They must be in the ownership of someone else and must be affecting your enjoyment of your home or garden (either as an owner or as a tenant).
Dealing with a high hedge problem
First steps if you think a hedge is too high
We are unable to become involved in a high hedge dispute until you have tried to resolve the problem yourself, for example by talking to your neighbour about the problem and/or asking a third party to step in and mediate.
The following websites provide useful help and advice:
- Solving a dispute with a neighbour: an introduction explains all the steps you should take before contacting the Council, including mediation.
- Over the garden hedge - leaflet providing advice on resolving high hedge issues.
- High hedges: complaining to the council - leaflet explaining the high hedge complaint process.
We use the following guidance to decide if it's a complaint:
In some cases, people may appoint independent arboricultural consultants to prepare their complaints for them, although this is not necessary.
Submitting a complaint
Please fill in the high hedges complaint form and send it with the following:
- relevant photos and plans
- evidence of attempts to resolve the issue amicably
- fee: £550 (or £100 if you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support)
Please send copies of all the documents to the owner of the hedge as well.
What happens to the complaint?
We will assess the information you send and any additional information from the owner of the hedge. We will also carry out a site visit to both yours and the owner's properties.
If we think the complaint is valid we will issue a remedial notice. This notice will detail the work needed to address the high hedge problem and prevent it happening again. The notice cannot require works that would lead to the death of the hedge by excessive trimming, require the hedge to be cut down to less than 2m in height, or be removed completely.
If the work detailed in the notice is not carried out, the hedge owner could be prosecuted and fined.
Rights of appeal
Both the complainant and the hedge owner can appeal against our decision. For more information about appeals and the time limits please see: