High and over-hanging hedge

High and over-hanging hedge

Postby Keepitlegal » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:11 pm

I need help, my neighbour has several different types of evergreen shrubs planted between his and my property the tallest is over 3 metres high which blocks off any natural light in the afternoon and also street lighting which is in their front garden, the shrubs run the length of my driveway, I have already had one car broken into and the radio stolen although this was some time ago, the shrubs would give a thief plenty of cover. My wife also parks her car on the drive next to mine, we have previously cut back the shrubs on our side to give us the room we require. I am now disabled so I will not be able to prune the shrubs in the future. My questions are

1 I will have to pay for someone to carry out the pruning on my side of the fence, can I bill my neighbour the entire costs
2 Have I got to give my neighbour the cuttings to dispose of
3 Can I demand the shrubs be cut down to a resonable height to give me more natural light and a bit more security at night so my drive is illuminated by the
street light
I live in England and the house is detached, I am not certain but I seem to recall that when we purchased the house there was something in the deeds which said front gardens had to be 'open plan'.
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby despair » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:02 pm

Regretably you cannot force your neighbour to cut back or pay for the cutting back to the boundary

The arisings MUST BE OFFERED back to the neighbour who may reject them

you might be able to use the High Hedge Law to get a height reduction but its by no means certain

A reasonable discussion wuth your neighbour is the best way forward plus do some more research on the full facts of your developments "open plan " status

Its likely to either be the Council or a part of your deeds

You can download a copy of your deeds from www.landregistry.gov.uk for £5 mon to fri 9 to 5
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby gripodkin » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:28 am

Just to add to Despairs answer - you should also download the documents that relate to your neighbours property, as the covenants on his property are the ones that may help.

On saying that, unless the covenant was required by the planning authority when the estate was built, for reasons that are still relevant, your chances of getting the developer to enforce it are non-existent (if they still exist as a company).

To use the High Hedge legislation, which will cost you several hundred pounds, you need to show the hedge is over 2m tall, and that it is interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of your property - arguably the increased fear of crime could show this, but the fact that there isnt any evidence of recurring crime could show this to be unfounded.

Right to light argument wont work - it applies to buildings, not gardens. Likewise the HH legislation looks for an impact on the house.

Cheaper to pay a gardener to cut the shrubs back to the boundary once a year, maybe even ask the neighbour if the gardener could give the top an 18" trim at the same time?

Regards

Pete
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby gripodkin » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:34 am

Just like to add - its not certain from your description that the shrubs are a hedgeline - how far apart are they?
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby Keepitlegal » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:49 pm

Thany you both for your help, Pete I think the covenant regarding 'open plan' front gardens was put in place by the planning authority (I am checking this out with the county council). The hedge is approx 3 metres from my lounge window a shadow is cast from 14.00 hours today until sunset, I believe our neighbour does not maintain his shrubs to cause us problems as we have other issues along with several other people in the close (dog fouling, parking issues and foul language by his wife etc etc). I do not want to officially complain about anything other than the shrubs incase it looks like we just 'have it in for them' however I cannot accept that the law is on his side regard pruning etc. we are at our wits end and may even consider moving, this will be our last resort.

Thanks again
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby despair » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:15 pm

I know all the problems of a hedge 3 metres high

sadly given the distance from your window etc i fear the High Hedge Law will be of little help

experience with NFH says move and move asap before things get worse

whoever buys will either want the seclusion a high hedge brings or is a bigger bully than your nfh
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby Keepitlegal » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:04 am

I have downloaded a copy of the deeds for my neighbours property which states there are restictive covenants between the builder (Leech Homes Limited) and the original owner but it does say what these are, where do I go from here?
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby gripodkin » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:50 pm

Your solicitor needs to obtain a copy of the deeds - they will show what the covenants are. Whether they can do this I dont know.

I think that Leech Homes are now a subsidiary of Persimmon Homes, you could contact them and ask for advice, but I suspect I know what the outcome will be - especially if any other neighbours in the area have also been breaching the covenant, no way does a building company want to spend its money on what could be lengthy legal work.

Regards

Pete
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby Sudynim » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:43 pm

Keepitlegal wrote: The hedge is approx 3 metres from my lounge window a shadow is cast from 14.00 hours today until sunset, I believe our neighbour does not maintain his shrubs to cause us problems...


You do not have to live under this oppressive overhanging mass. Ask your family (or hire pikey, unskilled contractors) to complete a periodic brutalisation of these shrubs - attack them with machetes, chainsaws, flamethrowers and herbicides, whatever gets the job done most quickly & easily. Slash, burn and devastate, leaving gaping wounds for parasites and infections to enter the remaining branches. Schedule at the most damaging time for the shrubs (usually Spring, but check) to get maximum value from your work. Do not deliberately cut beyond the boundary line, but don't worry about going a few inches over.
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Re: High and over-hanging hedge

Postby Roblewis » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:49 pm

Following my experience with my house vendor that I am still resolving, it is likely that you will need to disclose this on the Sellers Property Information Form, as will all the other neighbours, when you sell. You can only avoid this if the issue dies out completely. The advice of slash and burn is probably the best but do try to avoid crossing the boundary, look for the original post and wire as the best guide.

Think carefully about the consequences before taking this further and consulting any official rtesources or solicitors - see McMeekin V Long - you can google this and see the reports of the case.
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