High Hegde appeals procedure, advice please.

High Hegde appeals procedure, advice please.

Postby gripodkin » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:40 pm

Hello all,

I need a little advice in relation to the appeals procedure, if anyone can assist.

I will start by saying that the trees (hedge) in question is mine, so I apologise in advance if my asking for info upsets anyone.

I have a line of cypress at the bottom of my garden, they are about 30 years old, the tallest is about 65ft, and the lowest about 50ft.

The land the other side was agricultural, but earlier this year my nearest neighbour bought the land and obtained pp for change of use to garden.

He then approached me and asked for the cypress to be removed as they were obstructing light to his house and garden.

I explained that we were happy with the cypress, but would reduce them in height as much as possible, also, where they grew over his garden, about 12ft, he could go ahead and cut them back to the boundary (I understand this is his right anyway).

He wasnt happy with this, and wrote to me several times, each time asking for their removal.

I organised a survey of the trees, the result was that they could be reduced by approx 30%, but anymore would be likely to kill them off.

Sadly, this finally reached the council, who issued me a notice to reduce the height of the hedge by 30% to a max of 17m, but ideally 15m allowing for growth.

As this was the reports conclusion, as well as the councils (who were not supplied a copy of the report), I am happy to comply, indeed I have no choice.

Unfortunately my neighbour is not happy, and has appealed, asking for a 60% reduction and that I should be compelled to cut back the overhang.

His house is about 60ft from the nearest tree, and after about 11am the sun has passed over the trees so his garden is not in shade from then.

I've tried really hard to sort this out, offering to reduce the height by 30% and pay for them to be cutback as well, but any lower and my house will lose its privacy from the main road.

Also, on his title deeds to the house it says I own the 'right to light'?

I have read that Appeals can vary wildly in their rulings, so the fact that reducing the trees may kill them is not an over-riding principle.

Can anyone offer any advice.

Thanks
gripodkin
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:14 pm

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Postby despair » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:59 pm

I am gobsmacked that he even got a reduction to 17 metres /15metres as it is because other victims who have paid out to use the high hedge law have been bitterly disappointed that all benefit has stayed with the tree grower

Personally the mere thought of 15 metre high leylandi would fill me with dread 3 metres of my NFH hedge is far too high to cope with

I seriously doubt he will win on appeal especially since even Appeal Inspectors cannot sanction reductions over 1/3rd for fear of killing the trees
despair
 
Posts: 16044
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am

Postby TO » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:25 pm

Hi

For a start take a look at

http://www.communities.gov.uk/corporate ... PerPage=20

and

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publicati ... complaints

and

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publicati ... w=Standard

Then open your dialogue with the Planning Inspectorate. Supply them with a copy of your report. Do some shadow plotting to give to the Inspector along with the report to show that the loss of light is not as severe as claimed, and the garden is sunny after 11:00am. Do several at different times of day and year. Solstices and equinoxes are the usual days and say morning, mid-day and afternoon. Make clear that complaints can only relate to the height of the tree, and that the neighbour is perfectly entitled to cut to the boundary the overhang, albeit that they may require a tree surgeon to do it.

Make it clear, and use photos to prove the point that any greater reduction would result in a loss of privacy from the road. Photos that show the road in relation to the height of the hedge, or annotated to show the road in relation to the height of the hedge from your garden and living/bedrooms.

Appeal outcomes do vary wildly but neither the Council or the Inspector can require work to be carried out that could result in the death or destruction of the hedge, that's the law and is more than any principle, overriding or otherwise.

Most appeals are dismissed, and for good reason, so don't worry.

Finally, I must confess to being a little confused about the heights, 50 to 65 ft being 15m to 20m. So a 30% reduction would take them to 10 to 12m or thereabouts, way lower than you state your Remedial Notice requires at 15 to 17m

TO
TO
 
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:05 pm

Postby gripodkin » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:36 pm

I have read through some of the threads before I posted, and there do seem to be some strange decisions, hence my asking about appeals and their powers to order greater height reductions.

I did offer to reduce them by 30%, then plant a second line about 20ft back out of his line of site, and remove the originals completely when the second line screened my house from the dual carriageway, but he really wants them gone sooner than that.

What about the issue of lower branches overhanging his garden - does the HH legislation cover this? I'm so fed up with him that if I dont have to do it I no longer will, I know that sounds terrible, but he's been very unpleasant (to put this into perspective, my daughter has been feeding squirrels with peanuts on the front garden, but he has been shooting them with an airgun when they go onto his garden.).

Thank you for your interest.
gripodkin
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:14 pm

Postby gripodkin » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:04 pm

Sorry TO, I didnt see your reply before posting.

I will read the links you posted.

The trees are taller on the left and slope down to the right.

The 17m is a 30% reduction in the tallest tree, and would result in a level hedge - indeed, some of the trees would only reduce by a metre or so.

Thanks.
gripodkin
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:14 pm

Postby gripodkin » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:34 pm

TO

Had a read through the guide on the appeals on the second link, I didnt have that one which probably explains my knowledge gap. I will get together some info as you have suggested.

It seems to boil down to a simple question of how much you can lop off the tree without killing it (as despair said.).

If it is a third, then so be it. If its a third off everything and we get an uneven hedge, then so be it - just have to hope that the councils wish for an even hedge is a well reasoned one!

I feel for both sides involved in these problems, I know for us its been horrible.
gripodkin
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:14 pm

Postby despair » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:05 pm

Clearly you are bending over backwards to try and be reasonable
sadly your neighbour is the NFH

If you did plant a new hedge and remove the existing hedge you can bet the NFH next move will be a land grab of the 20ft

so while as a sufferer of leylandi the problem of a 15/17metre hedge would be hell for me i think your NFH thoroughly deserves to loose at appeal and that you do not give in to his demands

persuade your daughter to feed blue tits and great tits though rather than the squirrels which try every trick in the book to steal their food
despair
 
Posts: 16044
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am

Postby TO » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:30 am

Hi

I doubt the hedge has read the guidance that says that reducing it by more than 30% will kill it, it really isn't that simple. Different hedges in different circumstances will respond differently. In some cases more will be ok in others less. Phased reduction is one way to get a bit more of a reduction, whilst reducing the risk of killing the hedge.

Amenity of the area is something that should be considered so point out to the Inspector that an uneven hedge will look odd and incongrouous in the landscape/streetscape. Point out other neatly trimmed level hedges if there are any at the time of the site visit.

Overhang where it is too high for the average person to trim back is something that can form part of a complaint although it doesn't carry much weight as the Complainant is entitled to trim it back, albeit they may need to employ a tree surgeon. Trimming back the overhang is unlikely to form part of a Remedial Notice, and you only have to do what it says and no more, that is reduce in height.

TO
TO
 
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:05 pm

Postby gripodkin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:59 am

TO

Thank you for your earlier advice.

I have taken photos of the shadow cast by the trees at various times of the day - the biggest surprise is that my trees dont throw any shadow over his house, its a large tree belonging to a 3rd neighbour!

Co-incidentaly I had the copies of the councils paperwork through, and in it the officer dismisses the suggestion that my trees interfere with sunlight to the house.

In the appeal, my neighbour has now removed all references to his house and loss of light, concentrating entirely on shadows cast on his garden and stating that his main complaint now relates to the width of the hedge on both sides, I have again pointed out that the act doesnt cover this, will see what the appeal makes of that issue.

The councils expert calculated that the max height of the trees should be 6.4m, but that a reduction of more than 30% would probably kill the trees, so that was the most the council could order.

Again co-incidentaly, the neighbour is now requesting a reduction in height to 6.4m.

A cynic would think that my neighbour received his copy of the report about 2 weeks before me!

Regardless of the outcome, we have decided to reduce the hedge as ordered, then plant a second line of trees about 30ft back, which because of the gradient we can maintain at 9m without any shadowing issues, we will then replant the existing boundary with a different screen.

We have already offered this as a suggestion (2 years ago) but it was turned down as he wanted the hedge removed immediately.

With the benefit of hindsight I should have just gone ahead anyway and done this, but there you go - the reason we didnt was because he didnt agree with the plan he wouldnt give us permission to go on his land to cut the trees back.

If I was more bloody minded I'd leave the hedge as ordered, and plant a 2nd line as well, then I wouldnt have to look at him.

Regards.

G.
gripodkin
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:14 pm

Postby despair » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:54 pm

see my PM
despair
 
Posts: 16044
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am

Postby w3526602 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:51 am

Hi,

Wasn't there a question on his Planning Application that asks if any trees will be felled?

602
602 (That was my "last three")
w3526602
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:58 pm
Location: south wales

Postby gripodkin » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:43 pm

I dont know.

Its all online so I will have a look.

Pete.
gripodkin
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:14 pm

Postby despair » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:51 pm

Actually while the planning application may be online the Officers recomendations and other details may not be so best to go and check everything at planning office
despair
 
Posts: 16044
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am

Postby TrevR » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:41 pm

I really would NOT doing anything until you have to. Your neighbour is the kind that will take, take, take and never be happy.

Don't do it.
TrevR
 
Posts: 488
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:57 am
Location: Nottingham

Re: High Hegde appeals procedure, advice please.

Postby gripodkin » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:25 pm

Well, we had the meeting with the Planning Inspector this morning.

He believes that the council notice is flawed, as it requires a 30% reduction in height, but does not give a datum point to work from.

The council stipulated a max height for the trees of 17m, however, he believes this to be too high - wouldnt be drawn on his height ideas though.

Will be interesting what he comes up with - I pointed out that 30% was the max that the trees could be reduced by, but he didnt agree.

At 10.15am there were no shadows over the garden, or the house (which is 100ft away), I pointed this out but again, seems this isnt always relevant.

On a positive note, the height of the trees is measured from the base of the tree as it enters the ground, not the level of the neighbours garden (which is 4' lower).

Also, seems this is the first appeal that my Council have been involved in!

Be the first judicial review as well, at this rate!

Oh yes, forgot to mention......he confirmed that overhanging branches are not covered by the High Hedge legislation, being dealt with by established law.

Regards all

G.
gripodkin
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:14 pm

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 
Next

Return to Hedges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests