High hedges and hedgerows

High hedge disputes

If you are having problems with a neighbour's high hedge please read the two leaflets, produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The first leaflet, 'Over the garden hedge', gives advice on how to approach your neighbour and try to resolve the problems yourself.

The second, 'High hedges: complaining to the Council' gives information about the circumstances in which you can complain about a hedge and on what to do if you and your neighbour are unable to agree a solution and you want the Council to intervene.

If you do not know who owns the hedge, the Land Registry website should be able to tell you who the present owner of the property is, however they do charge for this information. The Council does not hold ownership details of privately owned dwellings.

Making a complaint

If you wish to make a complaint about a high hedge please complete the high hedge complaint form.

Fill in the high hedge complaint form

Please note that there is not a blanket rule that all hedges must be no more than two metres in height.

The complaint form explains why you consider the hedge is adversely affecting the reasonable enjoyment of your residential property.

It will be an important document in our consideration of the complaint as well as in any later appeal against its decision.

In setting out your grounds of complaint, you should describe fully the problems caused by the hedge, their severity and their impact on you.

Please also send us any supporting information that you want us to take into account.

Payment

Please return the completed form to the address on the form with a cheque for £300 made out to the London Borough of Havering unless the hedge in question is Council owned or you are entitled to full housing benefit. 

You must also send a copy of your completed complaint form to the owner and occupier of the land where the hedge is situated; these are the people listed in sections 5.4 and 5.5 of the form.

Please return the completed form to the address on the form with a cheque for £300 (made out to the London Borough of Havering) unless the hedge in question is Council owned or you are entitled to full housing benefit.

If you are receiving this benefit, and wish to have the fee waived, you will need to provide a copy of your benefit entitlement letter.

You must also send a copy of your completed complaint form to the owner and occupier of the land where the hedge is situated; these are the people listed in sections 5.4 and 5.5 of the form.

When we receive your formal complaint, we will check to make sure that it meets the requirements set out in Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 and that we can therefore proceed to deal with it.

If we cannot proceed with the complaint, we will tell you why not and refund your fee. Otherwise, we will acknowledge that we have received it and explain what happens next.

Please note that refunds for fees can only be given if applications are rejected because they are invalid; they will not be given if a valid complaint is withdrawn. Once we agree to proceed with your complaint we will not refund the fee even if the owner of the hedge cuts it down to what you consider to be an acceptable height or removes it before the council takes action or informs them that we have received a complaint.

If we cannot proceed with the complaint, we will tell you why not and refund your fee. Otherwise, we will acknowledge that we have received it and explain what happens next.

Hedgerow removal 

If you intend to remove a hedgerow you must give us notice.

Fill in the hedgerow removal notice form

More detailed guidance is contained in 'The Hedgerows Regulations 1997: A Guide to the Law and Good Practice'.

You can request a copy of this, free of charge, by emailing farmland.conservation@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

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