Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby COGGY » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:46 pm

Hi
I would be extremely surprised if the police were to become involved in this. What a waste of public resources if they did. Yes the neighbour should have discussed this first. Equally the OP should have kept his plant growth within his own garden. Ivy which is growing eighteen inches above a fence is extremely unlikely in my opinion to have done so without invading the neighbours garden. My advice would be to do as Despair suggests, put trellis along the fence to support the ivy, to your chosen height, and then ensure that the ivy does not grow higher than the trellis. Look at this from the neighbour's view, he could well have had things growing in his garden which were becoming covered in the OP's ivy.
Regards Coggy
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby Buzzard » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:12 pm

COGGY wrote:Hi
I would be extremely surprised if the police were to become involved in this. What a waste of public resources if they did. Yes the neighbour should have discussed this first. Equally the OP should have kept his plant growth within his own garden. Ivy which is growing eighteen inches above a fence is extremely unlikely in my opinion to have done so without invading the neighbours garden. My advice would be to do as Despair suggests, put trellis along the fence to support the ivy, to your chosen height, and then ensure that the ivy does not grow higher than the trellis. Look at this from the neighbour's view, he could well have had things growing in his garden which were becoming covered in the OP's ivy.
Regards Coggy


I'm more than happy to go along with this. I'll ask the neighbour if he objects to the trellis - I'll be surprised if he does, given that the neighbours on the other side have some. There will inevitably be times when it's only practicable for my neighbour to cut back the growth than spreads into his property, bit the trellis should clarify things.

I have no intention of contacting the police.........
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby Buzzard » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:17 pm

nothingtodowithme wrote:Good evening buzzard and welcome to the forum I agree with mr sheens comments and coggy has provided a good solution regarding a stake for support in your own garden.
This would at least prevent the climbing plants from encroaching in the future and will be easier for you to keep in check.
Is the neighbour aware of how upset you are about the situation?


I don't think he is fully aware - he is a decent person. I haven't broached the subject with him other than to say please tell me when the plant gets overgrown and I'll deal with it. I haven't mentioned the law etc as I am trying to ascertain the facts before approaching him and would prefer to sort this out amicably.

I don't see how fitting stakes is realistic for ivy. A trellis seems to offer a better solution, provided it can be fitted legally.

Thanks
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby arborlad » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:39 pm

Buzzard wrote:So, am I entitled to erect a trellis up to a certain height on top of the existing 2meter fence?



No, you would be in breach of planning law which could be enforced against, or they may decide to take no action. 2m is the overall height including trellis.
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby mr sheen » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:09 am

Buzzard wrote:Thank you for your replies so far, which give me enough information to approach the neighbour. I find Mr. Sheen's reply implausible as it seems clear one is entitled to cut back growth that encroaches into one's property, but not the growth within the neighbour's boundary. It seems unlikely plants can be trained to grow only within one's garden boundary: training it thus would require leaning into the neighbour's property in order to prune.

I like the analogy of cutting off the top of someone's vehicle if it is higher than the fence.

The question still remains of what legal measures could I take if this happens again? Would I use a solicitor or would it be pursued through the local authority? I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks


Plants cannot be trained to stay within one's boundaries, but owners can keep them cut back to prevent them causing a nuisance to neighbours and hence neighbours exercising their right to cut them back to the boundary. Or...speak to the neighbour and ask if they are happy about the encroaching plants (some are) or if they would prefer you to cut them back away from their land. You cannot expect a neighbour to come round and tell you when they are encroaching...it's just as easy to get out the hedge cutter and exercise your right to cut them back....and that's what he did.

Once you have allowed your plants to encroach beyond your boundary and the neighbour has exercised his right to cut back ....he has made it clear that he wasn't happy about the encroachment ....and now you aren't happy about the cutting back...there is little one can do legally. One can speak to the neighbour and ask them to cut back only to the boundary and not reduce the height and hope that he complies but the initial nuisance is caused by the encroachment ie you caused the initial nuisance. Land is a very expensive resource, in some parts of the country a postage stamp type garden is worth 10's of 000's. Owners have the right to use every inch of their land as they wish and encroachment by neighbours plants reduces the space they can utilise as they wish. Encroachment is a recognised legal nuisance that the law recognises and hence self-help is legally allowed to address it. The self-help should be responsible but if it isn't, it is a wealthy man who will pay substantial court costs to get a court to waste its time working out how much of a branch should have been cut off and how much this is worth, especially since the initial nuisance was the branch.

So a possible solution to this problem is to apologise for allowing your plants to encroach and cause a nuisance to the neighbour and explain that you will keep them cut back within your own boundaries in future so the neighbour will not need to touch them and will have no excuse for doing so.

To consider a 'legal' solution to this assumes that there have been financial losses that can be recovered or criminal intent and neither of these are viable. The neighbour had the right to cut back to the boundary, he may have been over- enthusiastic but he was probably fed up of the nuisance and reduction in his land caused by the encroachment...so both neighbours were not being neighbourly....a matter to be addressed by the 2 neighbours not the courts, solicitors or ...as someone has suggested ....god forbid! The Waste of police time.
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby arborlad » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:39 am

COGGY wrote: You do not have the right to permit your plants to trespass into the neighbour's garden.

Regards Coggy




There is no law that forbids it.
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby mr sheen » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:32 am

arborlad wrote:
COGGY wrote: You do not have the right to permit your plants to trespass into the neighbour's garden.

Regards Coggy




There is no law that forbids it.


But it is a recognised legal nuisance that the neighbour can take self-help to alleviate. There doesn't need to be a law to forbid it...this isn't a criminal matter needing laws, it's common sense, the neighbour owns all his land and airspace and has the right to use it all hence no right for plants from next door to trespass into that airspace (as Coggy rightly points out) ...and if you allow it to happen, you have to accept the consequences that the neighbour will alleviate the nuisance, often with minimal regard for your plants.
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby Buzzard » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:20 am

Thanks for all the replies.

Please allow me to clarify my position. First of all, I have no intention whatsoever of using the law in this matter and I have not suggested otherwise. I am simply trying to ascertain the legal situation so I am better informed when I approach my neighbour. Having made some headway I shall approach him in a courteous manner.

Secondly, I have discussed this matter briefly with my neighbour and did indeed apologise for allowing my plants to grow into his garden. I asked him, politely and in the spirit of maintaining good relations, to tell me when he wanted the plants to be cut back if they started encroaching on his property. I accept it is my responsibility to ensure this does not happen in the first instance, but sometimes it will be nigh on impossible to reach over a climbing plant, such as a jasmine or clematis, and trim it back to the border. there will be times when the neighbour will have to do this.

The extent of encroachment into my neighbour's garden was approximately 6 inches of growth spreading over the fence into his garden, with 12-18 inches having grown above the 2 meter fence. At no point did my neighbour tell me this was a problem and it seems somewhat disproportionate to do as he has done.

The solution, as I mention, is to discuss the issue with my neighbour and I am sure we will reach an amicable solution. I am sure also he will recognise that it will not always be practical for me to reach over some of the climbing plants and cut them back myself and I am perfectly happy for him to cut them back to his boundary, but not within mine.

Thanks very much everyone for your help.' Over and out.'
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby Uriah Heap » Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:14 pm

arborlad wrote:
Buzzard wrote: What specific law has been broken?



None................in almost all situations like this, it is simply common law not to have your property damaged or trespass if they have crossed the boundary whilst doing so.

No. Its Criminal Damage unless the neighbours genuinely believed the plant owner would not mind them cutting back the plants. Its a question of intent.
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Re: Cutting back plant growth on neighbour's fence

Postby jonahinoz » Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:55 pm

Hi,

You can make a PP application to increase a fence above the PD limit. The Planners might even offer informal advice about whether such an application would be successful.

John W
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