Hedge wars

Hedge wars

Postby sadone » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:47 am

It’s war over a hedge... As if having a wife in a wheelchair is not enough...I go to all the trouble of contacting a surveyor to decide where the boundary is so that I can erect a fence . My neighbour cuts the hedge down to 2 feet high and then erects a fence on my side of the hedge. Surveyor says boundary is in middle of hedge, neighbour could say as he has T mark its all his hedge. Either way I think fence is on my land. I have written to him unless he can prove fence is on his land it is coming down and we will erect our own.

We want to use fence as support and have it as high as possible. We know his history. He is just a bully. All I get from him is him calling me dickhead. Anyone got any thoughts. (Injunctions are not for us!)
sadone
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 am

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.
 

Re: Hedge wars

Postby arsie » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:38 pm

It would be normal if the hedge is on the boundary to take the mid line as the boundary. Can you prove the hedge is on the boundary e.g. previous neighbours and/or whoever planted the hedge? Presumably your surveyor will have done some investigation to enable him to make the statement that you are relying on: don't forget, he is your surveyor and one acting for 'the other side' might say differently! Even if it is the neigbour's hedge you would be allowed to trim the hedge back to the boundary and be within your rights.

Carefully remove - or have removed - the fence he erected on your side and give it to him causing as little damage as possible. Strictly speaking, this should be at his expense.

Then trim the hedge back as close as you can to the boundary so that he can, if he wishes to, re-erect his fence in the correct place, on the boundary. Bear in mind that, as it will be his fence, you cannot legally hang or attach or 'damage' in any way his fence. So 'using it as support' you would be on sticky ground and liable for any damage ensuing; although between neighbours on good terms some give and take would be normal. It is worth noting that, if the fence is panels with a good side and a bad side i.e. posts visible, he must site the posts right on the boundary so you would gain the use of the few extra inches of soil between the posts if he gives you the 'bad' side :)
arsie
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Hedge wars

Postby kipper » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:56 pm

if the hedge was his the root balls could have been planted on his land. It would not mean that the extent the hedge was allowed to grow into your garden became the boundary! Do you have a full report from the surveyor with other aspects of the land and properties taken into account when considering the boundary, not just the hedge?
kipper
 
Posts: 855
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: Hedge wars

Postby sadone » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:41 pm

Firstly thank you to the people who have replied. It is nice to share a problem and get some feedback. Arsie first your points in italics:

It would be normal if the hedge is on the boundary to take the mid line as the boundary.

OS take the centre line of the hedge as the boundary as a general rule but there can be exceptions. My Surveyor is saying that because this is an ancient hedge, separating fields, centre is the boundary.

Can you prove the hedge is on the boundary e.g. previous neighbours and/or whoever planted the hedge? Presumably your surveyor will have done some investigation to enable him to make the statement that you are relying on: don't forget, he is your surveyor and one acting for 'the other side' might say differently! Even if it is the neigbour's hedge you would be allowed to trim the hedge back to the boundary and be within your rights.

I cannot determine for sure that the centre is the boundary and I suspect neither can my neighbour. If it is not the centre I would think that the outside of the stems at ground level is the most it could extend into our land. I would have thought that only a fence who’s face on my side was level with the hedge edge, in other words the hedge was being bent away from me, would be ok. Hedge is probably older than me.

Carefully remove - or have removed - the fence he erected on your side and give it to him causing as little damage as possible. Strictly speaking, this should be at his expense.

I am asking that he remove the fence or it could get damaged by us if we have to do it.

Then trim the hedge back as close as you can to the boundary so that he can, if he wishes to, re-erect his fence in the correct place, on the boundary.

I cannot see that he can erect any fence without encroaching unless it is not down to ground level. He has already cut it down to 2 feet high. Sob..It was at least 6 feet high and full of a variety of plants that gave us privacy all year round. It is now a double hawthorn skirting board on his side of a cheap and tatty fence.

Bear in mind that, as it will be his fence, you cannot legally hang or attach or 'damage' in any way his fence. So 'using it as support' you would be on sticky ground and liable for any damage ensuing; although between neighbours on good terms some give and take would be normal.

That is precisely why we want our fence there. That and we know that he has a phobia about 6 feet fences. As a punishment he often removes panels for long periods. Weird…To be honest he can hang what he likes on our fence. I am 65 and never had a dispute with a neighbour. He has had several. I contacted people where he lived. They do not want him back.



It is worth noting that, if the fence is panels with a good side and a bad side i.e. posts visible, he must site the posts right on the boundary so you would gain the use of the few extra inches of soil between the posts if he gives you the 'bad' side

I would rather eat my own liver…. :D

Now kipper:
if the hedge was his the root balls could have been planted on his land. It would not mean that the extent the hedge was allowed to grow into your garden became the boundary!

Agreed. So the boundary is either this line along the edge of the main stem of the plants on my side, or on his side but most likely down the centre of this double row of hawthorn. Wherever it is I am sure the fence is not on his land.

Do you have a full report from the surveyor with other aspects of the land and properties taken into account when considering the boundary, not just the hedge?

Ahem! my surveyors report is a bit lacking as it is a draft, but I trust him. Evidence is all a little conflicting. My deeds say my garden extends at one point by 4 metres into my neighbours garden. I regard the deeds as not proving anything. Since a 1968 aerial photograph taken before his house was built shows the hedge basically as it is now, that to my mind and the surveyors is the boundary. Most normal people would not behave as he does. I swear that we have been the passive neighbours through all of this and we have even had a section of fence moved into our garden by 2 feet at one end. You would not believe the petty acts that he plans and carries out.

Are we all agreed that I can remove the fence?
sadone
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 am

Re: Hedge wars

Postby Geometer » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:21 pm

sadone wrote: OS take the centre line of the hedge as the boundary as a general rule but there can be exceptions. My Surveyor is saying that because this is an ancient hedge, separating fields, centre is the boundary.

Is there a ditch associated with this hedge?
Geometer
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:23 pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Hedge wars

Postby arsie » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:07 pm

@ original poster: fences can now be 2m high :D

@Geometer: good point. With old field boundaries, delineated by a hedge + a ditch, the boundary is at the top of the ditch bank away from the hedge (I think). Our neighbour a farmer resolved our mutual boundary that way (in our favour - we thought the hedge marked the boundary!)

So if you could prove a ditch once existed ... :wink:
arsie
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Hedge wars

Postby sadone » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:22 pm

Geometer wrote:
sadone wrote: OS take the centre line of the hedge as the boundary as a general rule but there can be exceptions. My Surveyor is saying that because this is an ancient hedge, separating fields, centre is the boundary.

Is there a ditch associated with this hedge?


We cannot see a ditch. I do realise this could cause problems. In the field behind my house on the boundary with the neighbours there is also no sign of a ditch.
Cheers
sadone
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 am

Re: Hedge wars

Postby sadone » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:23 pm

arsie wrote:@ original poster: fences can now be 2m high :D

@Geometer: good point. With old field boundaries, delineated by a hedge + a ditch, the boundary is at the top of the ditch bank away from the hedge (I think). Our neighbour a farmer resolved our mutual boundary that way (in our favour - we thought the hedge marked the boundary!)

So if you could prove a ditch once existed ... :wink:


If only there was a ditch on his side.... :twisted:
sadone
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 am

Re: Hedge wars

Postby arsie » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:54 pm

Ditches get filled in. You need to know the history of where they used to be. Our farmer was none too happy when my builders took out his pathetic 'stock fence' when clearing the back of the hedge: he insisted on its reinstatement - six feet from the hedge I had thought to be the boundary. So £300 gained me a strip of land fifty yards by six foot. Of course it is now a brand spanking stock-proof fence put up by his trusted fence maker :D
arsie
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Hedge wars

Postby sadone » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:09 pm

Picture shows Plot A without a house and ME. This was taken in about 1968. Ithink it shows hedge allowed to grow between us and neighbour and the rest trimmed back. I believe hedge planted when Crown lands were auctioned and this Plot A was separated from a bigger plot. Hedge I would guess is from 1920s. There was not much variety of species in it so not really old. (Picture supplied by another neighbour)
Thank you all for ideas.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
sadone
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 am

Re: Hedge wars

Postby hzatph » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:49 am

You have taken professional advice. My recommendation would be to follow it. If you have legal insurance then refer the trespass of the fence to them.
hzatph
 
Posts: 2461
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:37 am

Re: Hedge wars

Postby sadone » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:08 pm

hzatph wrote:You have taken professional advice. My recommendation would be to follow it. If you have legal insurance then refer the trespass of the fence to them.

Yes you are correct. Home insurance will not help as I asked their advice too soon after paying the premium. Should have read their Ts and Cs. We know that us standing up for ourselves WILL result in some retaliatory action (there is a tree on the boundary which he has managed to move into his garden by moving the fence) but c'est la vie....
sadone
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 am

Re: Hedge wars

Postby sadone » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:36 pm

Well the saga goes on.... Opposition says hedge belongs to them and fence is on their land because I have removed half of the hedge and they have only put fence where the hedge was. I must have done it in my sleep.... :D. I think their solicitor finds this hard to believe. They will not go to arbitration even though their solicitor has advised them to do so.
sadone
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 am

Re: Hedge wars

Postby sadone » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:53 pm

Well it gets dafter. After our first surveyor's report was rubbished we got a GPS/Theodolite survey done... Guess what even the hedge is in our garden according to the new surveyor. Of course we realise that that does not mean we have automatic rights to an extra bit of garden but it reinforces our belief that the fence should come down. Just got to persuade the bullying foul mouthed neighbour...
Even more idiotic is the fact that our deeds make our garden 10feet bigger in parts and his shed is in our garden..I think I would be a fool to try to reclaim that bit of the garden :D

Anyone know a solicitor who does no win no fee?
sadone
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:50 am

Re: Hedge wars

Postby boeingman » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:51 pm

Why on earth is the fence still there?

Take it down and give it back, then put up what you want.

Just do it now, the longer you leave it the stronger the position your neighbour will think he has!
boeingman
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:59 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 1 guest