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High hedges

Find out what you can do if your property is affected by high hedges.

We have powers to deal with complaints about high hedges. If you have tried and exhausted all other avenues, you can complain to us.

Anyone in a residential property affected by a hedge can complain to us. This is providing that they meet the following criteria:

  • it is an evergreen or semi-evergreen hedge of two or more trees or shrubs standing in a row
  • the hedge is over two metres high
  • you have tried to solve the matter amicably. This includes attempting to use an independent mediator.

Our role is not to mediate or negotiate between you and the hedge owner. It is to decide if the hedge is stopping you from enjoying your property.

Overhanging Hedges

You have the right to prune back any vegetation that crosses your boundary as long as:

  • there is no tree preservation order (TPO) or restrictions within a conservation area
  • the work done is not harmful to the long term health or stability of the tree or shrub
  • the work does not destroy or make the tree unsafe
  • you offer the cuttings back to the owner and if they do not want them you dispose of the cuttings responsibly


The fee to lodge and have the complaint determined is £400. If your complaint is made invalid our policy is to keep a £50 administration charge.


You can claim a 50% discount if you currently receive:

  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Housing/Council Tax Benefit
  • any other means tested benefit

You will need to produce evidence of this.

Make a complaint

Involving us is the last resort if you cannot agree a solution. We can refuse to intervene if we think you haven't done everything possible to settle your dispute.

We will take account of all relevant factors. This is to strike a balance between the interests of the complainant and hedge owner. We also want to think of the interests of the wider community.

If we think its justified, we can issue a formal notice to the hedge owner. It will set out:

  • what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem
  • the deadline for doing remedial work

Failure to carry out the works required by us is an offence which, on prosecution, could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

The submission of a high hedge complaint does not guarantee that we will serve formal notice. We may decide that the hedge does not adversely affect the complainant. We may take no further action.