A well-maintained hedge can be an attractive and long lasting landscape and ecological feature in an urban area.
However, choosing the wrong hedging plants can lead to difficulties in the future. The Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003. Part 8 of the Act came into effect in 2005, and gives local authorities powers to determine complaints submitted by householders in respect of a neighbour's high hedge.
The Council should be involved only as a last resort, when all other reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute have been exhausted. The new legislation does not require hedge owners to maintain their hedges at a given height automatically, and it will not apply to individual trees.
What constitutes a high hedge?
For the purposes of the legislation a high hedge must satisfy the following criteria:
- Is the hedge, or the portion that is causing a problem, made up of a line of two or more trees or shrubs?
- Is it mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen? (semi-evergreen is a tree or shrub that keeps some live or green leaves all year round)
- Is it more than two metres tall?
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