Hedge Problem with neighbour

Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby demondeb » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:59 am

I'm hoping that someone can give me a bit of advice regarding a problem I have with my neighbour and what may well become a dispute over a hedge.

I live in the countryside and moved here almost five years ago. Unfortunately we have a neighbour who can best be described as 'Steptoe' and we've found ourselves living next door to Steptoes yard, he does no work in his house and garden which is full of rubbish, old rusty cars and vans, weeds, brambles etc. etc. We have a long driveway and to the left is a small ditch and boundary hedge which is his, the ditch he also claims is his and I assume it is, he has to come onto our property in order to do any maintainance. Last year he came onto our property a few times while we were out and cut the hedge leaving his cuttings on our drive. I spoke to him about it and he agreed not to do that again. The hedge is very high which is a Godsend as it allows a certain amount of privacy, I'm very much live and let live so if he wants to live in a junkyard that's fine as long as I, and visitors to my property don't have to look at it. Last year I asked him not to reduce the height of the hedge so we could maintain our privacy and he agreed to this.

As you can probably guess when I was out this year he's come into my driveway cutting back his hedge and left the mess on my driveway, I made him clear it up but the issue I'm left with is the fact that he has cut the hedge back (very badly) it would be more accurate to say that he is in the process of hacking the hedge right back to about 3 foot. It's a complete mess and now I have to look at his mess as do any visitors to my property. I can't plant another hedge which is the obvious solution because my driveway is too narrow and to do so would prevent proper access. I'm making the assumption that there is nothing I can do about this, my privacy is very important to me and I am really upset by what he has done, he is a very strange man and there is no reasoning with him as what he will say to your face and then what he will do are two different things.

Is there any solution?
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby despair » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:52 pm

Could you install a fence tight up against his hedge

if you know where the actual boundary is you may be able to cut the hedge back even more

he has no right to come onto your property and certainly not leave a mess

As to his rubbish etc you could see "rats" and complain to the Environmental heal;th Dept at your council
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby arborlad » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:04 pm

demondeb wrote: I'm making the assumption that there is nothing I can do about this, ?


Too soon to make that assumtion until all the possibilities have been explored.


my privacy is very important to me


Important enough to take over the maintenance of the hedge in question?


What you wont be able to do is this:
despair wrote:Could you install a fence tight up against his hedge
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby demondeb » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:54 pm

Thanks guys, I can't do the fence thing because there is a small ditch there which he says is his - moans like crazy about keeping it clear and then leaves it in a mess, never clears it and it never has water in it - otherwise it would be simple and I'd just plant a high hedge right there, it's frustrating. I dread to think what there is in his garden. I really do believe in live and let live so although I've moaned to myself about him and his mess I've been able to live with it whilst it's been almost hidden from my view. It must be a health hazzard but I'm not sure just how bad things have got to be for the Council to act. My partner thinks he has seen asbestos dumped there and I guess they may act if that is the case - but that won't help with the hedge problem.

The hedge goes round a corner right by my house front - if he cuts that back the same it will be even worse for us. Stupidly, as he's always been so dirty and lazy I never thought he would do this! trying hard to think of something really tall I can put in but it's a huge driveway and aside from the space issue there will be cost as well. I just don't think I can win but am ever hopeful that someone may have had a similar problem and found an answer.
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby TOTOO » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:15 pm

A hedge and ditch boundary in agricultural (or former agricultural land) does indeed belong wholly to the hedge side owner.

You can't stop him pruning his hedge just the same as he cannot stop you pruning yours.

I presume it is a native hedgerow.

If it is classed as an 'important' hedgerow and he destroys/removes it, that is a criminal act under the Hedgrow Regulations and you should contact your Local Authority.
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby TO » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:06 am

Hi

I would agree with TOTOO about the hedge and ditch boundary, but I'd still be inclined to check just to make sure, you never know what was conveyed with the land/house sale.

However, I would disagree about the hedgerow regulations 1997 being applicable. They do not cover hedges within, or forming the curtilage of a domestic property.

For the record, destroying any hedgerow to which the hedgerow regulations 1997 apply is a criminal offence if you have not first given six weeks prior notification of your intention to the local planning authority. There are of course a few exemptions. The notification period allows the local authority time to assess the hedge to determine whether it meets the criteria of an important hedge. If it does they issue a hedgerow retention notice. If it doesn't, goodbye hedge.

TO
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby demondeb » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:28 am

I guess that's where I'm utterly and completely screwed to be honest, cutting it down so low will not kill it, he hasn't removed it he's just killed my privacy and ruined the look of my house. I don't think there is much I can do - unless anyone can come up with some very fast growing hedging that is thin so I won't lose much of my driveway and can plant my own! I thought about bamboo but it will run and put up shoots under the drive, conifers are too wide as are most other options, oh dear, I'm well and truly beaten by this one.
Thank you all so much for the responses.
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby TOTOO » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:42 pm

Erect willow or hazel screen fencing. It's attractive and you can grow stuff up it.
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby arborlad » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:10 pm

You haven't said what sort of hedge it is and whether this is an option -
arborlad wrote:
demondeb wrote:
my privacy is very important to me



Important enough to take over the maintenance of the hedge in question?




demondeb wrote:............unless anyone can come up with some very fast growing hedging that is thin so I won't lose much of my driveway and can plant my own!.


Live willow screening http://www.somersetlevels.co.uk/informa ... 2&cat_id=0 would tick a lot of those boxes, the space needed no thicker than your finger, can't be planted for another 3/4 months though.
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby despair » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:48 pm

Pyracantha could be your best option
once its established it will grow away and also give you lovely colour from the beries for the birds in the winter
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby Geometer » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:59 am

demondeb wrote: I made him clear it up but the issue I'm left with is the fact that he has cut the hedge back (very badly) it would be more accurate to say that he is in the process of hacking the hedge right back to about 3 foot. It's a complete mess and now I have to look at his mess as do any visitors to my property. Is there any solution?

Depending on the species involved, the hedge will probably grow back to it's original height within a couple of years. In the meantime, could you erect some temporary brushwood screening: http://www.wickes.co.uk/brushwood-garde ... tAodAwktcw ?
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby demondeb » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:55 am

Thanks very much for the suggestions, that's given me a few ideas to try, obviously I'll need to put something in as this is something he probably will do from time to time, I am going to put a huge bamboo one the corner and look into the other suggestions for along the length of the drive.
I knew there probably wouldn't be an easy solution and I thought there was little I could do about it but just wanted to check with you guys who clearly know so much more about the subject than I do in case there was anything I hadn't thought of.

Many thanks to you for your helpful suggestions.
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby demondeb » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:01 pm

The live willow screening looks very promising indeed, I don't know why I hadn't thought of that one but it looks like a serious option - thank you so much.
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby despair » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:33 pm

i understand that if you know someone with a willow they are pollarding /cutting back you can simply push willow fronds /fine branches straight into the ground and produce your own free living willow screen

At this time of year many people are cutting back willows
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Re: Hedge Problem with neighbour

Postby ukmicky » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:01 pm

Important question

What side of the hedge is the ditch, yours or his.

The reason being is if the hedge is on the far side of the ditch so you would have to jump the ditch to get to the hedge then under the rule you own the hedge and ditch.

Unless that is yours or his deeds state something different.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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