Local councils handle complaints about high hedges according to the legislation under part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.
This guide explains the process for appealing against a high hedges decision, the deadlines, and how long it will take to get a final decision.
You can make a complaint to the council about your neighbour's hedge if it is causing a problem (if you cannot resolve the issue yourself).
The council will decide whether the hedge height is creating an adverse effect for the neighbourhood (e.g. obstructing light or access).
As a rule, your council will not reject your complaint providing you have taken all 'reasonable' steps to find a solution yourself.
Important: The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government produce a leaflet titled 'over the garden hedge'. It explains simple ways to settle common 'hedge disputes' before you make an official complaint to your local council authority.
You must wait for the local council to make a decision about high hedges before appealing against their remedial notice (or decision not to issue one). Remedial notices usually result in a withdrawal or a waiver.
You can start the appeals process if (either):
Important: There are no fees for appealing a council's decision about high hedges complaints (or part of garden boundaries).
The deadline for appealing is within twenty eight (28) days of:
Note: As a rule, you will get a decision back from the council once they have 'validated' your appeal (around six to eight months).
After filling in the high hedges appeal form, you will need a copy of the decision issued by your local authority, along with:
The next step is to send the appeals form and documents to the council who made the original decision and to the Planning Inspectorate.
Email: [email protected]
Note: It is best to send them by email (not by postal methods) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Planning Inspectorate needs to validate the appeal. Following that, they will send details of what happens next and how long the appeals process is likely to take (up to 34 weeks).
They decide all appeals based on the information given to them and a visit in person to the hedge site. You will get a letter from the case officer if they require any additional information.
You can complain about a council if you think they did something wrong or you don't like how they handled your case.
Furthermore, you can also file a complaint about the way the Planning Inspectorate handled your appeal. There are no deadlines for filing complaints.
What if you believe the Planning Inspectorate made a legal mistake? In this case, you may be able to challenge their decision in the High Court.
Important: It is wise to get advice from a lawyer if you decide to start legal proceedings. The official database of legal professionals may be useful for anyone looking for legal services in England and Wales regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
You can find and access local council services (e.g. dog wardens, libraries, and rubbish collection) in the master section.
Another section explains more about the rules for trimming overhanging trees and consumer rights for cutting branches.
High Hedges: Appealing a Council's Decision in United Kingdom