Hedgerows

high hedge

High hedge legislation

Background information to the law dealing with high hedges

Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 – Part 8

Since 1 June 2005, Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 has given District Councils and Unitary Authorities, the City of London and London Boroughs powers to deal with complaints about high hedges.

Provided they have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving their hedge dispute, people can take their complaint to their local authority. The role of the authority is not to mediate or negotiate between the complainant and the hedge owner but to adjudicate on whether - in the words of the Act - the hedge is adversely affecting the complainant's reasonable enjoyment of their property. In doing so, the authority must take account of all relevant factors and must strike a balance between the competing interests of the complainant and hedge owner, as well as the interests of the wider community.

If they consider the circumstances justify it, the local authority can issue a formal notice to the hedge owner which sets out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem, and when by. Failure to carry out the works required by the authority is an offence which, on prosecution, could lead to a fine of up to £1,000. The authority also has the power to carry out the required works in default of the hedge owner not doing so, and recover their costs.

The Act and associated Statutory Instruments are available on the government legislation website.

  1. Hedgerow regulations
  2. High hedges
  3. High hedge legislation (you are here)

Tools

High hedge legislation

Powers to deal with complaints about high hedges

Hedgerow regulations

The Hedgerow Regulations make provision for the protection of important hedgerows in England and Wales.

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