Hedge: whose is it?

Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:19 pm

Hi, We have a problem with a hedge. Our garden is terraced & the majority of the terraces are between 3 & 5 foot higher than our neighbours. The terraces are held back by retaining walls. To the right of our garden is our neighbours boundary: the right hand side of the retaining wall. There is a hedge that grows in this side of the garden: our neighbours say it is their hedge as it is on their boundary: however the hedge grows in our garden the roots grow in our garden. Their garden is 3-4 foot below ours.
We would like to replace the privet hedge: for a more suitable hedge: the privet dries out our garden. They have said that if we touch the hedge we will be doing something that is illegal.
We are having other boundary problems with them too. We have tried to discuss things & work together but they always go ahead & do what they wish regardless of what we would like etc. It's starting to get us down: any help/advice would be great!
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby despair » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:12 pm

I believe you will find that any hedge will have pretty much same water requirements and thus drying out capacity

With neighbours like yours sadly i doubt theres any way forward

Better to move give yourself peace and let a bigger bully deal with them
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:21 am

thanks, you know: your probably right, thats how we feel that they are bullies. Terrible shame really.
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby arborlad » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:42 am

Janejane wrote: To the right of our garden is our neighbours boundary: the right hand side of the retaining wall. There is a hedge that grows in this side of the garden: our neighbours say it is their hedge as it is on their boundary: however the hedge grows in our garden the roots grow in our garden. Their garden is 3-4 foot below ours.


From this description, the hedge is entirely yours, to do with as you please.


We would like to replace the privet hedge: for a more suitable hedge: the privet dries out our garden.



Privet is probably one of the worst hedges for depleting the ground of moisture and nutrients, whenever I've removed them I usually have to replace the soil, with other hedges, just adding some bonemeal or similar is sufficient to bring the soil back to good heart.

They have said that if we touch the hedge we will be doing something that is illegal.



It's possible, if you remove the hedge now, you could fall foul of the Wildlife and Countryside Act - or you may be in a conservation area.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:25 pm

I think so too: I can't imagine how anyone can see that a hedge belongs to them when it grows in their neighbours garden... which is 3-4 foot higher than theirs: I think the confusion lies with the boundary wall: they are responsible for maintaining this: even though it is a retaining wall which retains our garden.
My husband spoke to them today & they have said that they have spoken to a "legal line" and a solicitor who specialises in property: apparently they are now saying that we can't move the hedge because it's roots are so deep into the wall itself that it will cause severe damage to their retianing wall.

They have now also agreed to meet to mutually agree the other issues around boundaries... so we shall see how things go.

I feel like knocking the privet head thing on the head for a quiet life: but I'm sure it is ours and surely if we are agreeing to undertake all work & make good then the jobs a good one!?

The problem is that they just quote legal info & try to baffle us with this....
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Roblewis » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:17 pm

Are you sure the retaining wall is the boundary feature to be maintained? It is more usual for this to be on the dominant side of the boundary with a boundary line at the base. Check for any easement in your or their deeds as this may give an indication
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby TO » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:36 pm

Hi
arborlad wrote:
Janejane wrote:if we touch the hedge we will be doing something that is illegal.

It's possible, if you remove the hedge now, you could fall foul of the Wildlife and Countryside Act - or you may be in a conservation area
Just curious, but why would it be illegal to remove a garden privet hedge in a conservation area.

TO
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby arborlad » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:46 pm

TO wrote:Hi
arborlad wrote:
Janejane wrote:if we touch the hedge we will be doing something that is illegal.

It's possible, if you remove the hedge now, you could fall foul of the Wildlife and Countryside Act - or you may be in a conservation area
Just curious, but why would it be illegal to remove a garden privet hedge in a conservation area.

TO


I was thinking specifically of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Perhaps illegal is the wrong term in connection with a conservation area, but if you're familiar with Hampstead Garden Suburb, there are covenants on the hedges there, and the Trust are not toothless dogs!
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:29 pm

Roblewis wrote:Are you sure the retaining wall is the boundary feature to be maintained? It is more usual for this to be on the dominant side of the boundary with a boundary line at the base. Check for any easement in your or their deeds as this may give an indication


sorry not sure what you mean exactly: do you mean their boundary is more likely to be at the base of the retaining wall? what do you mean easement? this is all very new to us. We don't have a copy of our deeds either: they are held by our mortgage providers: we'll need to get hold of these. We only have our land register.
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Roblewis » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:15 pm

A retaining wall often has substantial foundations and an easement is a legal device that permits the foundations of the wall to lie within the neighbours land - You can download your deed titles from the Land Registry for a small fee, your neighbours also. This may well have information re the retaining wall. As I say the retaining wall usually, but not always belongs to the higher, dominant, land.

Hedges cannot be grubbed out in the breeding/nesting season. Generally this runs from April to late August this is to prevent disturbance of nests. And yes hedges can be protected in conservation areas
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Treeman » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:58 am

Roblewis wrote:Hedges cannot be grubbed out in the breeding/nesting season. Generally this runs from April to late August this is to prevent disturbance of nests. And yes hedges can be protected in conservation areas



Hedges can be removed during the nesting season provided they don’t have any active nests. The wildlife and countryside act protects the nest (while active) not the hedge.

How exactly can hedges be protected in a CA?
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:01 am

thanks for explaining: yes that makes sense. I'll download our deeds too. We have no plans to scrub the hedge, we just wanted to consider replacing it: this is when they started saying it was theirs & when they also started saying that it was their wall. It seems very odd that they would want responsibilty for a wall that retains our land anyway: because the bill would be hefty of the land did slide & if the wall did need repairing/replacing.
Hopefully the deeds may shed more light on it. If they don't is there anything else that we can do to find out who the wall belongs to?
Thanks again, all this info: it's helped a lot.
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby TO » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm

Hi
Janejane wrote:Hopefully the deeds may shed more light on it. If they don't is there anything else that we can do to find out who the wall belongs to?
Wait till it needs repairing, or fails. You'll very quickly find your neighbours all of a sudden have a change of view on who the retaining wall belongs to. Congratulations you now own the retaining wall. :lol:

It's your hedge, it's on your land , do as you will with it.

TO
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Roblewis » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:46 pm

Treeman is strictly correct but you do need a full survey of the hedge to prove no nests are present, unlikely in an old privet hedge but...Hence my tendency to refrain from touching hedges during the spring to late August period.
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Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Treeman » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:13 pm

Roblewis wrote:Treeman is strictly correct but you do need a full survey of the hedge to prove no nests are present, unlikely in an old privet hedge but...Hence my tendency to refrain from touching hedges during the spring to late August period.


Errrrrrrr, nope, there is no requirement for a survey, the only requirement is not to damage an active nest so there can be nests there as long as they aren’t in use.

Ecologists have made an entire industry out of the WCA, you don’t need anything more than the Mk1 eyeball to survey for bird activity, and you don’t even need to know a sparrow from a turkey as long as you can tell a bird from a squirrel
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