The law giving local Councils powers to deal with complaints about high hedges is contained in Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.
It makes provision for local Councils to determine complaints by the owners of domestic property adversely affected by evergreen hedges over 2 metres high. The Council charges a non- returnable fee - currently £480.00 - for this service, to be paid by the complainant. They may also reject the complaint if they consider that insufficient effort has been made to resolve the matter amicably, or that the complaint is vexatious or frivolous.
The law does not require all hedges to be reduced to or maintained at 2 metres. In practice the hedge height may vary depending on the location of the hedge because its situation affects the degree of shade it may cast.
The Council cannot act as mediator and will not intervene as a first response. The law makes clear that the complainants must make all reasonable efforts to resolve their hedge dispute by negotiation or mediation before asking the Council to take formal action. Before approaching the Council formally you should be able to demonstrate that you have made reasonable efforts to reach a negotiated solution and that these have failed.
Further information on High Hedges is available by visiting www.gov.uk where you can download government advice leaflets.
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