Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby mediator1 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:57 pm

My hedge runs alongside a main road. In January I returned home to find that approximately 30 ft length of my hedge had been 'vandalised' - cut back right to the trunk - by the council's "landscapers". It has left my property unsecured and looks really bad! I was told by the Director of Highway Services that they needed to cut my hedge to ensure the road sign could be seen by others. This I understand - however the road sign is obsolete and due to be removed any day................I also asked why I had not been notified of their intention to cut the hedge, as I would have arranged for someone who knew what they were doing to give it a trim. I was told that there was a lot of work to do in the area and that they did not have the time to let everyone know that hedge cutting was taking place.
Ihave since looked up the Highways Act of 1980 - section 154 which states that the authority must give 14 days notice to the landowner. Does anyone know what I could do from here? Or is it one law for the local authority and another for the householder???
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby appledore » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:27 pm

What sort of hedge is it?
Keep calm and carry on.
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby mediator1 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:43 pm

its a leylandi hedge - the main road runs right round my property - the house used to be the roundabout until they redesigned the road - it's about 120 ft long on the side where the damage has been caused and about 20ft high - it keeps out the sound of the traffic and gives me privacy (or did!)
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby appledore » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:11 pm

I was hoping you were going to say privet as that would have grown back, but leylandii won't grow back once it's been cut back to the bare wood. I don't think saying they didn't have time to inform everyone that hedge cutting was taking place is any excuse at all. I'd contact the council again, tell them you're not satisfied with their explanation, and ask what they intend to do about it.
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby Treeman » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:20 pm

The notice period is a bit of a non starter, bad form but not that significant.

It doesn’t matter if (allegedly) the council people didn’t know what they were doing, I suspect by that you mean you would have preferred to have less cut off.

The only thing that you can do anything about is IF they cut more than they were entitled to.
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby mediator1 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:00 pm

I've got the MP involved now..........after all, they set the laws - will be interesting to see if the council are willing to try and put things right !
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby mediator1 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:01 pm

They cut a lot more than they were entitled to and they didnt even do it well..............
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby arborlad » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:50 pm

mediator1 wrote:They cut a lot more than they were entitled to and they didnt even do it well..............


They would be entitled to (at least) cut to the boundary - is the boundary clearly marked?
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby mediator1 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:17 pm

Cut beyond the boundary - I think - it's not overly clear on the map
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby arborlad » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:23 pm

mediator1 wrote:Cut beyond the boundary - I think - it's not overly clear on the map


Forget the 'map', I think it'll be of limited use in this situation. What is there by way of fences or walls to clearly mark what is your land?

Hedges are great for wildlife etc., but make a very poor boundary feature.
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby mr sheen » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:47 pm

The Council have a duty to road users to ensure that hedges do not obscure signs or create any hazards and respond to complaints from the public to overhanging and dangerous vegetation, they can cut back what is appropriate to ensure safety on the roads. Not really appropriate to suggest that the Council workers tasked with ensuring that the roads are safe refer to endless plans, maps and imaginary boundaries.

!!!! Complaint to an MP (please!!!!!). Hedgeowners have the responsibility to keep their hedges cut well back so that they do not create problems for road users and avoid the unecessary use of taxpayers and council taxpayers money being diverted from the needy, elderly and disabled to cut back poorly maintained hedges or deal with complaints to an MP about hedge cutting. Lets keep things in perspective.
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby Clifford Pope » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:54 am

Our local council quoted some regulations saying frontagors must provide a minumum of 17 feet (I think) clearance to the edge of the highway. Not the carriageway, and nothing to do with property boundary (we "own" the whole road as we own the land each side). If we don't cut it ourselves they come and do it and charge us.
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby ukmicky » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:04 pm

Clifford Pope wrote:Our local council quoted some regulations saying frontagors must provide a minumum of 17 feet (I think) clearance to the edge of the highway. Not the carriageway, and nothing to do with property boundary (we "own" the whole road as we own the land each side). If we don't cut it ourselves they come and do it and charge us.

I would have thought that their would be a legal process that must be followed before they can cut back and then charge.

Next time ask them for copy of the bylaw or regs they quote and post them here.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby TO » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:42 pm

Hi
ukmicky wrote:I would have thought that their would be a legal process that must be followed before they can cut back and then charge.
Highways Act 1980 s154(1). Cutting or felling etc. trees etc. that overhang or are a danger to roads or footpaths.
(1)Where a hedge, tree or shrub overhangs a highway or any other road or footpath to which the public has access so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of vehicles or pedestrians, or obstructs or interferes with the view of drivers of vehicles or the light from a public lamp, [F390or overhangs a highway so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of horse-riders,]a competent authority may, by notice either to the owner of the hedge, tree or shrub or to the occupier of the land on which it is growing, require him within 14 days from the date of service of the notice so to lop or cut it as to remove the cause of the danger, obstruction or interference.

Highways Act 1980 s154(4)Subject to any order made on appeal, if a person on whom a notice is served under subsection (1) or (2) above fails to comply with it within the period specified in those subsections, the authority who served the notice may carry out the work required by the notice and recover the expenses reasonably incurred by them in so doing from the person in default.

This brings us full circle to the original post.

TO
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Re: Cutting the hedge without legal notice?

Postby ukmicky » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:06 pm

TO wrote:Hi
ukmicky wrote:I would have thought that their would be a legal process that must be followed before they can cut back and then charge.
Highways Act 1980 s154(1). Cutting or felling etc. trees etc. that overhang or are a danger to roads or footpaths.
(1)Where a hedge, tree or shrub overhangs a highway or any other road or footpath to which the public has access so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of vehicles or pedestrians, or obstructs or interferes with the view of drivers of vehicles or the light from a public lamp, [F390or overhangs a highway so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of horse-riders,]a competent authority may, by notice either to the owner of the hedge, tree or shrub or to the occupier of the land on which it is growing, require him within 14 days from the date of service of the notice so to lop or cut it as to remove the cause of the danger, obstruction or interference.

Highways Act 1980 s154(4)Subject to any order made on appeal, if a person on whom a notice is served under subsection (1) or (2) above fails to comply with it within the period specified in those subsections, the authority who served the notice may carry out the work required by the notice and recover the expenses reasonably incurred by them in so doing from the person in default.

This brings us full circle to the original post.

TO

So as notice had not been given the council acted unlawfully.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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