Can Council do this?

Can Council do this?

Postby bunting » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:42 pm

Hi all,

The fence at the rear of our garden is covered with ivy which has grown through the fence to the outside. It covered the outside of the fence like a carpet and I trimmed it back regularly to keep it tidy, last doing it 4 weeks ago. The fence is not next to a road or path (nearest path is 12 feet away) but an area of grass. Last week the council came along and, without notice, went along the outside of the fence with a hedge trimmer, clearing every ivy leaf off the fence. I questioned the workmen and was told it was because the ivy was overhanging the path. I pointed out that there was no path next to it and the ivy certainly hadn’t been overhanging anything. They then said they had to do it for the grass cutters.

The fence and ivy now look a complete mess and I’m very angry to think they can just come along and ruin my ivy like this. I’ve written to the Council to complain but I’m not really sure where I stand legally on this issue. Do I have good reason to complain? If so, what is likely to be the response from the Council?

Thanks.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:57 pm

Hi bunting,

any ivy beyond your garden is a nuisance (legal term, not my opinion) and the law allows for its removal without your permission.

it would have been polite/best for you if you'd been asked to do the work yourself, but the guys were there and acted lawfully.

now the nuisance has been abated what outcome are you hoping for beyond the token apology you're likely to receive?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby arborlad » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:04 pm

bunting wrote:Hi all,

The fence at the rear of our garden is covered with ivy which has grown through the fence to the outside.

Thanks.



Unless you own land beyond the fence, the workman have done no wrong.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby bunting » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:11 pm

Thank you both for your answers. At least I have a better idea of where I stand now. I would like to just clarify that the ivy was growing on the outside of our fence, not on the ground. It was not overhanging the council ground but the council just stripped it right back to the fence. I'm amazed that they can come along, without notice, and be perfectly in their rights to do this.

I hadn't really thought of what the outcome might be, but an apology would be something. Thanks again for your replies.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby span » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:17 pm

Have you inspected your fence very very very closely indeed to ensure they did no damage to it whilst they were cropping the ivy? Sometimes things are missed or overlooked in the first instance when you're focused on the ivy, not your fence.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby despair » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:20 am

Ivy destroys fences and the roots will be all across the ground

Do your self a favour and clear the lot away and give your fence a good coat of fence treatment
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby mr sheen » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:02 pm

Your land stops at the fence. Anything growing through the fence is technically encroaching upon land owned by someone else and it can be cleared back to the boundary without notice.
Simple solution is to keep your plants within your boundary and you retain full control over them.
In fact the council can give you notice to remove the encroaching vegetation from the path and if you don't they can do it and bill you.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby bunting » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:28 am

Thank you all for your replies. I hadn't inspected the fence but I have now and there doesn't seem to be any damage. Thanks for letting me know where I stand but I am still amazed they can do this without notification.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby Clifford Pope » Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:18 am

They can do it for the same reason you could clear ivy encroaching into your garden from next door - because the owner of land is not obliged to tolerate other people's plants growing through into their land.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby jonahinoz » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:59 am

Hi,

Half of my daughter's rear garden must be kept as "amenity" land, and must not be fenced. Every so often, a team of council workmen come along and cut HER grass, for which she is moderately grateful. But what if she didn't want it cut? If she planted some bushes, would they cut those too?

Who owns the land that the ivy was growing over?

602
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby arborlad » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:41 am

bunting wrote: They then said they had to do it for the grass cutters..




This is almost certainly the case, any grass cutting will be mechanised and whatever machine is used, if a tendril of the ivy gets caught in the mower, it could damage your fence.

I see many situations like this, where ivy, whether planted or self-set will enclose a fence and do some damage in the process, once it's done that, it will then go on to protect the fence and you will have a green and pleasant - habitat rich boundary feature for a few decades.

Inspect and treat the base of the posts if necessary and be vigilant for any tendrils on the outside that might get caught by the mower.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby jonahinoz » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:16 am

Hi,

Did they OFFER to return YOUR cuttings?

John W
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby Conveyancer » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:14 am

jonahinoz wrote:Did they OFFER to return YOUR cuttings?


This point has been much discussed. Whilst it may technically be required, in practice no one expects hedge trimmings to be offered. On the contrary they expect them to be taken away.
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Re: Can Council do this?

Postby arborlad » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:37 am

mr sheen wrote:Your land stops at the fence. Anything growing through the fence is technically encroaching upon land owned by someone else and it can be cleared back to the boundary without notice.




Can is the operative word here - it is an option, not an obligation.
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