Planting Trees for Privacy

Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby zoe1993 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:41 pm

The house next door has been massively extended and despite ours and several neighbours objections had been given planning permission for a large first floor balcony and huge windows which directly overlook all of our windows and our entire garden. Our houses are built at different angles to each other on a corner and were originally designed so they didn't overlook each other.

As the balcony is only 14m from our windows (how they got planning permission for it is a mystery) and they look down on us we are planning to plant mature trees as we need the height and I can't bear to use the garden at the moment. We hope to plant a mixture of evergreen and decidious trees to ensure that we don't fall foul of hedge legislation, these will be planted near to the boundary wall.

However, we are now being threatened by them with legal action to prevent us doing this as they say it will take away their light. We have a right to privacy but I don't know how to respond appropriately as I've researched the issue of light but it seems very unclear. We've had constant problems with them and have recently had to resort to security cameras as some of our hedge has been damaged and we are also worried that future trees may also be damaged. We can't even put our house up for sale now.

If anyone can help and advise me how to respond I would be very grateful, thanks.
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby Roblewis » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:48 pm

Rights to light are an extremely difficult matter to prove even where a structure is involved. Essentially, as a rough rule of thumb, if an angle of 45 degress from the middle of the glass can go over or past an obstruction then light is legaly unaffected even if a right exisits- but that is for buildings. Other than the high hedges legislation there is is almost nothing for trees, and this applies to evergreen trees and shrubs being aimed originally at the Leylandii. The mixing of deciduous and evergreen may avoid it. Large bamboos are readily available, cheaper than mature trees, and have heights up to around 9m or even greater and most are completely evergreen. They are outside all legislation as they are a Grass. Me - I would ignore their complaints and plant a screen of selected bamboos.
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby Treeman » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:49 pm

zoe1993 wrote:The house next door has been massively extended and despite ours and several neighbours objections had been given planning permission for a large first floor balcony and huge windows which directly overlook all of our windows and our entire garden. Our houses are built at different angles to each other on a corner and were originally designed so they didn't overlook each other.

As the balcony is only 14m from our windows (how they got planning permission for it is a mystery) and they look down on us we are planning to plant mature trees as we need the height and I can't bear to use the garden at the moment. We hope to plant a mixture of evergreen and decidious trees to ensure that we don't fall foul of hedge legislation, these will be planted near to the boundary wall.

However, we are now being threatened by them with legal action to prevent us doing this as they say it will take away their light. We have a right to privacy but I don't know how to respond appropriately as I've researched the issue of light but it seems very unclear. We've had constant problems with them and have recently had to resort to security cameras as some of our hedge has been damaged and we are also worried that future trees may also be damaged. We can't even put our house up for sale now.

If anyone can help and advise me how to respond I would be very grateful, thanks.



That's a bluff
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby ukmicky » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:49 pm

I agree with Treeman

I would love to see them try and win that one.


You do not need to respond so just do it.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:45 pm

I would also advise you to plant bamboo, if you bury large containers it won’t travel all over the place, or put down a root membrane. Bamboo will give you a lovely hedge and still allow light through. You could also plant some small trees, maybe a mix of deciduous and evergreen in front of the bamboo your side, if you have room.

I do sympathise with you having such a neighbour. To think they have the right to overlook you and take your privacy away, and at the same time think that you don’t have any rights…sounds like the narcissists that used to live here. :roll:

Although I wouldn’t advise you to go mad and plant anything just to be spiteful, you don’t need to worry about their make believe right to light. You can gain some privacy without plunging them into darkness. Oh they do sound ridiculous. :lol:
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby appledore » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:42 pm

One of our neighbours built a house with a balcony in his back garden. It doesn't overlook our house, but it does overlook part of our garden. We had a lot of trees to start with, but we've planted a lot more and we've managed to block his view. The only view he had was over our garden, not his own.

Now he's erected polytunnels hard up against the fence and just behind our trees. We're just waiting for him to complain that we're blocking his light.

I'd just go ahead and plant some trees and bamboo.
Keep calm and carry on.
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:41 pm

appledore wrote:Now he's erected polytunnels hard up against the fence and just behind our trees. We're just waiting for him to complain that we're blocking his light.


Imagine when you attach a powerful vacuum each end when they are next inside it!! :idea: :lol:
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby zoe1993 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:24 pm

Thank you for all your encouraging replies. I hadn't realised that bamboo could be used for a high hedge and I'm definitely going to use some with some deciduous trees and one very large evergreen to block the hated balcony. I feel a lot better having now found this forum as no doubt they'll find something else to complain about.
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby appledore » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:19 pm

WILL*REMAIN*STRONG wrote:Imagine when you attach a powerful vacuum each end when they are next inside it!! :idea: :lol:


They'll look like a gammon joint that's shrink wrapped. :lol:
Keep calm and carry on.
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby Roblewis » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:31 pm

In many ways Bamboo are much better than the traditional heding plants. Once established the canes merely grow to their maximum height in a single season and even the running instincts of some are relatively easy to control. Your friends may even be happy to take some offsets from you. Look for the specialist nurseries on the web as they provide far better selection than garden centres and at better prices. They are a mine of information. A half decent soil and keep moist and you cannot fail. Do check frost hardiness as some will not tolerate lower than -5, but not many.
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:55 pm

appledore wrote:
WILL*REMAIN*STRONG wrote:Imagine when you attach a powerful vacuum each end when they are next inside it!! :idea: :lol:


They'll look like a gammon joint that's shrink wrapped. :lol:


EWWWW! :lol: They'll never sell that in Tesco.
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Re: Planting Trees for Privacy

Postby appledore » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:59 pm

WILL*REMAIN*STRONG wrote:EWWWW! :lol: They'll never sell that in Tesco.


I don't think they'd be able to give it away. :lol:
Keep calm and carry on.
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