Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 - Part 8
The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary, if well maintained a hedge can be an attractive and long lasting landscape and ecological feature in an urban area. They define property boundaries, provide privacy, shelter and security, reduce noise and encourage wildlife.
However, choosing the wrong hedge plants may bring problems in the future. Allowing a hedge to grow too tall can lead to difficult maintenance and excessive shading to neighbouring properties affecting their reasonable enjoyment of the property.
- The legislation only applies to two or more evergreen and semi-evergreen trees and shrubs over 2 metres above ground level.
- Involvement of the Council is seen as the last stage of the process after all other means of resolving the problem have failed. The role of the Council is not to provide a mediation service.
- The Council charge of £500 for each complaint application, with a 50% reduction if you are a state pensioner, registered disabled or on state benefit (non-refundable)
- The Council’s decision can be appealed by any of the parties.
- It does not apply to all hedges, only those within the definition.
- Complainants should approach the Council as a last resort when all other means of resolving the problem have failed, including mediation.
- There is a fee (£500) which is non-refundable.
- The decision can be appealed against in a similar way to planning decisions and there is also an enforcement process.
If you wish to make a complaint:
- You should contact the Council’s Sustainability Team to obtain a complaint form and guidance leaflets on 01594 812331/2329
What happens then?
After the Local Authority have received your form and formally acknowledged it as a valid high hedge complaint:
- A site inspection will be undertaken
- An assessment of the impact of the hedge will be undertaken in relation to the considerations set out previously.
- A decision will be made as to whether work needs to be done to the hedge.
- Where it does, a remedial notice will be issued specifying what needs to done. This notice will cover the present problem and issues of re-growth and yearly maintenance.
- The notice can be amended in certain circumstances and can also be appealed against by the recipient, the complainant or the landowner (if different).
High Hedge Complaints were established by Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
USEFUL LINKS (External Links)
From the Department of Communities and Local Government www.communities.gov.uk: