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The High Hedges Act

New powers were created for local authorities under part eight of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 to tackle problems associated with high hedges.

What is a high hedge?

A 'high hedge' is defined (section 66 of the Act) as a line of two or more evergreen trees which rise to a height of over two metres above ground level.

The Local Authority may take action against the owner of a property where such a high hedge is growing, if the hedge forms a barrier to light or access, so that the owner or occupier of a neighbouring property has his reasonable enjoyment of that property adversely affected.

Is the new law in force yet?

The Act itself came into force on the 1 June 2005.

What action may be taken?

Formal action by the Local Authority could require the owner of the hedge to reduce its height to a maximum of two metres. The council could not require the hedge to be completely removed.

What is the cost?

The cost of making an application to the Council is £405 (This is non refundable).

Does the Council have to act on my complaint?

The council may decline to investigate a high hedge complaint where it considers that the complainant has not taken all reasonable steps to resolve the matter him/herself.

For further information contact the Environment Team.

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