70ft conifers

70ft conifers

Postby martinb » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:34 pm

Hi I'm new to this site and I hope someone can help me.
I live in an ex council house and have owned it for 17 years. At the rear of my property are a number of council owned bungalows that house elderly people. The bungalow directly behind my back garden has 4 very high conifers they must be at least 70ft high and I would say 15 to 20ft wide. They are blocking light into my garden and parts of my lawn don't grow any more I've relaid parts of the lawn treated others and grass seeded but all I get is bald patches and moss. The conifers are encroaching over the fence at the rear of my garden and all the concrete posts that hold my fence panels in are leaning and collapsing into the neighbors garden, I'm assuming the roots are disturbing the posts in the ground and causing them to lean over. It's destroying my fence but I cant replace it as the conifers will do the same to the new fencing.
I have spoken to my local authority loads of times over the past few years and they have inspected them taken pictures etc. They agree they are very high but have decided not to do anything about them because they say they have a points system to do with safety and danger but we are not high enough on that points scale to warrant doing anything.
I have seen various threads on this forum that mention the height conifers should be, no more than 2M in most cases and that the council can fine people and ask them to do something about them, but what happens when the conifers are on their land and they are not prepared to do anything about them? How do I stand legally about getting them to cut them down or follow their own legislation if there is any?
Look forward to hearing your responses if you can help me?
Martin
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Re: 70ft conifers

Postby despair » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:13 pm

Firstly its nonsense that theres a law which states conifers can only be 2metres

There is the High Hedge Law which you may possibly be able yto use if light to your habitable rooms is affected

Since your fence has been destroyed and you have repetedly contacted the council a claim for your fence might stir them into action along with threats to usde the HH Law but most councils require you to pay a fee to use HH Law plus you must write the relevant letters etc before hand

i would also try contacting your local councillor as they might be able to get some action
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Re: 70ft conifers

Postby martinb » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:04 pm

Thanks for the response. Contacting my local councilor may be a good shout. Surely when trees get to a certain height they are considered dangerous?
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Re: 70ft conifers

Postby span » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:11 pm

martinb wrote:Surely when trees get to a certain height they are considered dangerous?


That's a bit like saying that once automobiles reach a certain speed they are considered dangerous. It's a ridiculous assertion.
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Re: 70ft conifers

Postby kipper » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:11 pm

Obviously that's why Yosemite National Park is closed to visitors, what with all those dangerous Giant Sequoias about...
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Re: 70ft conifers

Postby TO » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:02 pm

Hi

martinb wrote:The bungalow directly behind my back garden has 4 very high conifers they must be at least 70ft high and I would say 15 to 20ft wide. They are blocking light into my garden
If they are a hedge and not individual trees you have recourse via the high hedges legislation.
martinb wrote:parts of my lawn don't grow any more
Not relevant to your high hedges case. Grow something else or plant shade tolerant grass.
martinb wrote:The conifers are encroaching over the fence at the rear of my garden
Not of much relevance to your high hedge case. You have every right to cut back to the boundary. However, if it is to high for you to safely cut back, some weight will be given to this in your high hedge complaint, but not much.
martinb wrote:all the concrete posts that hold my fence panels in are leaning and collapsing into the neighbors garden, I'm assuming the roots are disturbing the posts in the ground and causing them to lean over.
Even if it is the roots that are causing the problem it is not relevant to your high hedges case. Take photos of the fence then repair it. Take photos of the new fence. Send copies of pre, and repaired fence to Council along with a letter putting them on notice that you will hold them liable for further damage to your fence caused by their trees.

As others have said, there's no set height a hedge cannot legally exceed. Each high hedges case is dealt with on its merits. Contacting your Councillor is a good start. Explain to them you intend to make a formal complaint about the hedge using the high hedges legislation if they don't do anything to address the issues of how the height of the hedge affects your enjoyment of your property. Keep notes of meetings or telephone conversations, and copies of any letters. Make sure you always mention hedge height and how it is affects you, so if you do need to bring a formal complaint you can show you have tried to resolve it. Light to house and garden seem your best route towards a successful complaint.

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