Council Hedge

Council Hedge

Postby jimmansell » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:15 pm

On my rear boundary is a hedge on the park which belongs to the council. It is at least 3/4 metres high, maybe higher in places. Over the past several years I have been prunning the top of the hedge at my own cost so that it does not get any higher. I am fed up with having to do this. I have written to the council invoicing them for the years of prunning and request that they reduce the hedge because it is blocking light to my garden and house. It seems that after years of non action on the councils behalf they have finally agreed to reduce it, however they are now telling me that bird nesting is coming soon and if there are nesting birds they cannot carry on the works and it will have to wait another year! Just seems like another excuse not to do the work. Really getting fed up.

They owe me compensation for the work I have had done to the hedge and they should reduce it now. What else can I do to make them act???
jimmansell
 
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:17 am

Hi jim,

it's not an excuse - it is illegal to disturb nesting birds.

sorry to say, but they do not owe you any money either.

(you've actually been acting unlawfully if it's not your hedge, but let's not go there...)

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby span » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:22 am

Behave yourself.

Have you even bothered to Google up "nesting birds" + "hedgerow cut/trim" + law + England? and what contract exactly does your council owe you for?
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby arsie » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:04 pm

I would ask the council to reduce and then keep the hedge to a reasonable height of 2m, the height that they allow members of the public to erect fences without planning permission. It would be interesting to hear what they say. I think the nesting season may have already begun so no action is to be expected until September.

Leaves plenty of time for an email battle :)
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby jimmansell » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:31 pm

If they don't act and do not cut it after numerous letters of complaint over the years then of course I am going to cut it at my own cost and invoice them for their lack of action. Quite straightforward no?

Only now do they seem to be doing anything because I will be going to the ombudsmen and trying to reclaim my costs.

They have said that although it will soon be nesting season they will carry out the work provided their officer has ensured there are not nesting birds present.
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby span » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:38 pm

jimmansell wrote:If they don't act and do not cut it after numerous letters of complaint over the years then of course I am going to cut it at my own cost and invoice them for their lack of action. Quite straightforward no?


No, not at all and I suspect you're gong to find that out if you persist in your claim against the Council.
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby mr sheen » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:50 pm

Hedge rules exist for a reason. Don't interfere with nesting period.
Invoice to your hearts content....getting money is an entirely different issue!
Are you a baby bird murderer?
Nesting birds are afforded protection... Quite rightly for the rest of humanity!

If you cut back in illegal period you will be prosecuted under criminal law....and quite rightly!
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby jimmansell » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:47 pm

From my understanding it is an offence to deliberately or accidentally destroy an active nest...it is not an offence to cut a hedge during bird nesting season

Curious to see what the judge thinks about all this negligence by the council when I take them to court.
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby arborlad » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:41 pm

jimmansell wrote:Curious to see what the judge thinks about all this negligence by the council when I take them to court.



In what way has the council been negligent?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:56 pm

Hi jim,

you're nearly right - except you've missed some significant bits:

"deliberately or accidentally destroy or damage an active nest or a nest being built"

for certain birds (probably not in your hedge though) this extends to "or disturb the birds or their young in an active nest or disturb the birds at a nest they are building".

whilst the council's hedge may have none of these you must realise the professionals prefer to wait.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby jimmansell » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:30 pm

the council should have cut the hedge and not allow it to develop into a anti social nuisance, blocking my light amenity...I have informed them over the years of their duty in relation to the ASBA 2003 but nothing happened, contractors continue to only cut the sides annually and don't touch the top....this is where they have been negligent

of course you are right....i do understand the nesting bird legislation, but now they know this is a serious problem they should at least check the hedge to determine if works can be carried out....i would be quite horrified if they were to cut through a nest...i just feel they use bird nesting laws to back up their position of not carrying out the work.
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:54 pm

Hi jim,

they should at least check the hedge to determine if works can be carried out

spend some of their limited budget getting someone out to perform a needless task?

you mention you've been keeping the height in check for a number of years - to what height? how much have you been taking off each time?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby mr sheen » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:14 am

jimmansell wrote:Curious to see what the judge thinks about all this negligence by the council when I take them to court.


There is no negligence just a growing hedge. If you think you will gain anything by taking this to court you are likely to be very disappointed. The Council is not legally obliged to cut a hedge or keep it at a specific height. If a hedge overhangs into your land you have the right to cut it back to the boundary but not to reduce the height. This is the self-help approach that is acceptable.
Before taking this any further you need to do some research on the legal position.
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Re: Council Hedge

Postby TO » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:08 am

Hi

jimmansell wrote:I have informed them over the years of their duty in relation to the ASBA (sic) 2003
What duty? If you have a problem then make a formal high hedge complaint.

In cutting the height of the hedge you have trespassed and caused criminal damage. How far do you think your Court case will get in trying to claim costs for that. Instead of breaking the law you should have made a formal high hedge complaint.

I'd agree that you're right about the birds nesting, no nests no problem. However, it can be easier, (read cheaper), if the Council get on with other things than comming to do something they find they can't do when they get there.

TO
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