2 Windows directly looking into my property!

2 Windows directly looking into my property!

Postby Happy Gardener » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:40 pm

Hi..

I wonder if anyone can help?
I moved into my bungalow 5 years ago.
My neighbours have 2 windows at the side of their property which directly overlook my house and garden(their chalet bungalow is built on higher ground). A hedge had been planted (3mters from their property) by the old lady who lived here before me but she kept the hedge level with the bottom of the neighbours windows so they still had light in their lounge/dinning room.

Since moving in I have let the hedge grow up which now covers their windows (one of the windows looks directly into my bedroom, the other directly overlooks our outdoor eating area)...The second year we were here my neighbour came round and demanded we cut the hedge back. I refused. She made the same demands the next year, still I refused. Last year (whilst I was out) she cut the hedge right back to under her windows.
This year (so it cannot be repeated) I have built a shed across the first window which is approx 4 metres from her property)
Tuesday of this week she started again demanding we cut the hedge.

Where do I stand on this issue. What are the light and privacy laws? I have phoned planning at the council offices but they told me to google it and thats how I'm here now lol.
Thanks for any help offered, sorry its a long winded question!
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Postby despair » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:40 pm

Unless your hedge falls foul of the BRE guidelines used to calculate heights for High Hedge Law your neighbour has no right to demand anything and even then she must go through correct proceedures

see www.hedgeline.org for more information also the Dept of Environment website and a leaflet your council should have "Over the garden Hedge "

Legally she cannot demand anything or indeed touch the height of your hedge al she can do is cut back any overhang strictly to the boundary and no furthur
Last edited by despair on Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby catapult1 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:48 pm

Put another shed up.

I had an unrestricted view into the back of my neighbours house from my side kitchen window.

We didn't make a habit of looking and the previouse owner assumed we knew all about their naked lifestlye. We didn't. Simply because we never looked.

The new owners recently put a cacking great shed in front of our window which is 1mt from wour window.

We don't care as a. the light still pours in. b. it is not a window we made a habit of looking out of (although we do more now as it is so imposing but we can cope with that) c. we would have done the same only sooner.

There is little if anything your neighbour can do. I would make sure you are abe to maintaine their side so as not to give them any excuse to hack away at it.
My answers are not of a legal nature, only what I consider to be common sense.
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Postby Happy Gardener » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:59 pm

Thank you guys :D

Thats what I wanted to hear :D

What is the hedge limit? I did check out the website link provided but I couldn't find anything related to actual height... :?
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Postby mr sheen » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:37 pm

So the old lady who lived there before respected the light requirements of the neighbour...for how long? Have they acquired a right to light?

You can engage the neighbours in a dispute (which you seem to want to do) or you can keep the peace - the choice is yours.

At this stage there is still a chance for a compromise that may be reasonable for both parties.

Once battle commences don't think that the other party will respect any of your rights either - once we refuse to consider the effects on other people of our actions it is often only a matter of time before we find out that a neighbour is a person best placed for tit-for-tat hassle; and then the only opt out is a full battlefield retreat... if you can manage to sell.
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Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:24 pm

Happy Gardener wrote:What is the hedge limit? I did check out the website link provided but I couldn't find anything related to actual height... :?

I don’t think there is a set height for all hedges.

The fact that she cut your hedge in the first place without asking shows she doesn't deserve the consideration she probably demands from all and sundry, there are right and wrong ways about going about things.

I too would put another shed there or tell her you will call the police if she touches your hedge again. If she wants to go through the correct channels, she can. If she wants to behave like a demanding Nazi and touch what doesn’t belong to her, well that goes both ways.

Don’t allow people to make you feel guilty for wanting some privacy, it would have been different if she had asked nicely, there are other ways of getting some privacy which would allow more light to her windows, but you need a discussion for that to be considered, not demands.

Good luck.
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Postby Treeman » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:11 pm

Happy Gardener wrote:Thank you guys :D

Thats what I wanted to hear :D

What is the hedge limit? I did check out the website link provided but I couldn't find anything related to actual height... :?




The hedge line site is an out of date joke and you have been sent on a fool’s errand

The “dept of environment” became DEFRA quite some time ago. That reference is as out of date as hedgeline.

This is chapter and verse on HH legislation. Your LA website will probably have some info as well.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/planninga ... ighhedges/

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Postby Happy Gardener » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:03 pm

mr sheen wrote:So the old lady who lived there before respected the light requirements of the neighbour...for how long? Have they acquired a right to light?

You can engage the neighbours in a dispute (which you seem to want to do) or you can keep the peace - the choice is yours.

At this stage there is still a chance for a compromise that may be reasonable for both parties.

Once battle commences don't think that the other party will respect any of your rights either - once we refuse to consider the effects on other people of our actions it is often only a matter of time before we find out that a neighbour is a person best placed for tit-for-tat hassle; and then the only opt out is a full battlefield retreat... if you can manage to sell.


I think if my neighbour had a 'right to light' order she would have taken great delight in telling me that before now lol
The problem is, the neighbours have erected an extension to the rear of their property hence the side windows. Had the extension not been erected there wouldn't be a light issue because the french doors to the rear to the property would let in enough light. Is that my problem? NO!
They are a retired couple, we are a family of five.
These people have been on my case since day one. Its that ol' chestnut 'we've been here longer than you, so do as you're told!'
If they want to make it a civil matter, then so beit!
Gawd, I only want the quiet life and some privacy. Is that too much to ask?
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Postby despair » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:06 pm

If you do actually search Hedgeline website how to calculate hedge height using BRE guidelines is there as is all other nessecary info

Your Councils Planning Dept should also have provided you with "Over the Garden Hedge " booklet info

I am aware Hedgeline site needs updating but the basic info is still there one simply has to look for it
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Postby mr sheen » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:57 pm

A right to light is not an order but a right gained over time.

It is not unreasonable to expect light in through your windows and it is also not unreasonable to want some privacy - couldn't you try to seek a compromise solution via discussion?

Unfortunately your attitude that they have been on our case from day 1 and 'is that my problem - NO' will fuel further unpleasantness

Let battle commence....
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Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:45 pm

Happy Gardener wrote:These people have been on my case since day one. Its that ol' chestnut 'we've been here longer than you, so do as you're told!'
If they want to make it a civil matter, then so beit!
Gawd, I only want the quiet life and some privacy. Is that too much to ask?


It isn't too much to ask for, the neighbour needs to approach this differently…friendly. You could plant something which lets more light through, you could opt for fence and trellis with climbing plants etc... But my guess is that anything which goes near these windows will be either snipped or moaned about.

Compromise is essential if they want you to play nicely. Demands and unpleasantness could force your hand. That next shed could be huge! :wink:

I can't see that it is you who is being unreasonable unless they decide to approach this differently and you then won't compromise. At the end of the day you can plant what you like, you don't see neighbours going out of their way for each other unless there is pleasantness and mutual respect.
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Postby w3526602 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:25 am

Hi,

I don't know if it applies in your case/council, but in my area, you are not allowed to have a window looking out from a habitable room into a neighbour's habitable room unless they are 20 metres apart.

A bathroom is not a habitable room, a kitchen might be, depending on its size.

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602 (That was my "last three")
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