Failing to follow the rules when removing a countryside hedgerow can result in a fine up to £5,000. Furthermore, it can be an unlimited fine if the case goes to Crown Court.
This section explains how to appeal a hedgerow notice if you disagree with a decision sent by your local planning authority (LPA).
Councils make decisions about countryside hedgerow notices. Another section explains how to find local council websites.
You can make an appeal against a council decision if they (either):
Note: Appealing against a hedgerow notice issued by the council is free of charge in the United Kingdom. But, the person who made the original application is the only one who can make an appeal.
The deadline for appealing against a hedgerow retention notice or hedgerow replacement notice is twenty eight (28) days from the date recorded on the document sent out by the local council.
As a rule, you can expect to get a decision about an appeal within seven months (31 weeks) from when it gets validated (see further details on the validation process below).
Important: Further guidance about the appeal procedures for hedgerows retention and replacement notices is available on the GOV.UK website.
You need to use the correct application form that falls under the Environment Act 1995 section 97. Furthermore, you will also need to supply:
Note: Another section explains the benefits for wildlife and the environment when land managers establish and manage hedgerows in the United Kingdom.
Fill in an appeal form and send it with all the relevant documents to the council who made the original decision.
Remember, you must also send the same documents and information to the tree and hedge appeals department of the Planning Inspectorate.
Email: [email protected]
Note: You cannot use postal methods to send your appeal during the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). Hence you will need to send them by email.
In fact, anyone can submit a comment about a hedgerow appeal. Most people will find commenting by email the easiest method (especially during the pandemic).
Email: [email protected]
Note: Another section explains more about planning permission and building regulations in the countrysides of England and Wales.
One of the roles of the Planning Inspectorate is checking that these types of appeals are valid. Following that, they will notify you of what happens next and how long the process is likely to take.
After the Planning Inspectorate considers the application, they will usually make their decision known within a period of about thirty one (31) weeks.
In some cases, unreasonable behaviour may mean you incur extra costs (e.g. they missed the deadlines). If so, you can make an application to get an 'award of costs'.
But, you should also be aware that you may need to pay the costs of another party if the award goes against you.
You should follow the official complaints procedure to complain about the handling of your appeal by the Planning Inspectorate. There is no time limit for making this type of complaint.
Note: Another section explains how to claim planning appeal costs (and the deadlines for doing so) in greater detail.
Supposing you still disagree with the appeal decision (e.g. because you believe the Planning Inspectorate made a legal mistake). If so, you may be able to make a legal challenge through the Administrative Court.
Important: It would be prudent to seek professional advice from a lawyer (e.g. through the Law Society) before pursuing this option.
Process to Appeal a Hedgerow Notice in the United Kingdom