Hedge Screening/PROW

Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby bluebelle » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:12 pm

Hello, hoping somebody can answer this please.

Have posted previously re various issues concerning a PROW through our small close into fields behind us. The fields have now been built on (housing estate) and the council has decided that the previously undefined PROW runs immediately behind the fences at the end of our gardens and have permitted it to be used for cycles too (was only foot access before). It will run to yet another proposed housing estate and a park and ride and a pub.

I now have a row of houses backing directly onto my house and, due to this and the anticipated increased usage, am looking into various screening/hedging options. As my fence is 2m high, I want to plant something that is 3m at least but now find there a rules/regs when planting adjacent to a PROW.

When I bought the house originally there was no PROW at the end of my garden. One of my new neighbours has put a trellis up on his fence, making it 4m high at least, the council have done nothing despite knowing this. The council/builders have put several beech trees actually on the PROW itself and my immediate next door neighbour has a very high conifer which was there before any houses at all were built, including her own.

In light of all this, how likely do you think I would be made to take down very expensive hedging that I might go ahead and plant? TIA
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:35 pm

Hi bluebells,

it would depend on whether the LA are made aware - this is more likely to happen if the PROW is in regular use and you allow your hedge to encroach...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby Collaborate » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:05 am

Hedges aren't a planning issue. so you're OK. High hedges legislation (in the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003) only provides a mechanism for owners of domestic property to complain, so you should be OK planting next to a PROW.
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby TO » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:55 pm

Collaborate wrote:High hedges legislation (in the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003) only provides a mechanism for owners of domestic property to complain, so you should be OK planting next to a PROW.
How is that. If a neighbour considers themselves affected by the height of the hedge, and it meets all the other criteria, and they've jumped through all the hoops to complain, then they can complain. What has the location of the hedge adjacent a public right of way, or its location at all, got to do with making a complaint.

The hedge could be in someones garden, a park, an agricultural field, it could be a woodland edge, or adjacent a footpath, and it could be several gardens away, or hundreds of meters distant. The location of the hedge is irrelevant, (as long as it's not on the complainants property).
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby Collaborate » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:17 am

TO wrote:
Collaborate wrote:High hedges legislation (in the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003) only provides a mechanism for owners of domestic property to complain, so you should be OK planting next to a PROW.
How is that. If a neighbour considers themselves affected by the height of the hedge, and it meets all the other criteria, and they've jumped through all the hoops to complain, then they can complain. What has the location of the hedge adjacent a public right of way, or its location at all, got to do with making a complaint.

The hedge could be in someones garden, a park, an agricultural field, it could be a woodland edge, or adjacent a footpath, and it could be several gardens away, or hundreds of meters distant. The location of the hedge is irrelevant, (as long as it's not on the complainants property).


Have a read of s65 of the Act, which specifies who can make a complaint. You have to be the owner of domestic property.
Complaints to which this Part applies

(1)This Part applies to a complaint which—
(a)is made for the purposes of this Part by an owner or occupier of a domestic property; and
(b)alleges that his reasonable enjoyment of that property is being adversely affected by the height of a high hedge situated on land owned or occupied by another person.
(2)This Part also applies to a complaint which—
(a)is made for the purposes of this Part by an owner of a domestic property that is for the time being unoccupied, and
(b)alleges that the reasonable enjoyment of that property by a prospective occupier of that property would be adversely affected by the height of a high hedge situated on land owned or occupied by another person,as it applies to a complaint falling within subsection (1).


The PROW is not a domestic property. So no one can complain as a user of the PROW under the Act that the hedge is too high and should be trimmed back. It's not individuals who can complain (as in the public at large), but anyone living in a domestic property whose property is affected by the hedge.

I'm fascinated at your suggestion that the location of the hedge has no bearing on a complaint under the act.
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby TO » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:53 am

Collaborate wrote:The PROW is not a domestic property. So no one can complain as a user of the PROW under the Act that the hedge is too high and should be trimmed back. It's not individuals who can complain (as in the public at large), but anyone living in a domestic property whose property is affected by the hedge.
Yes. But you suggest that because the hedge is next to a right of way there can be no complaint about it.
Collaborate wrote:Hedges aren't a planning issue. so you're OK. High hedges legislation (in the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003) only provides a mechanism for owners of domestic property to complain, so you should be OK planting next to a PROW.
The hedge could still affect the reasonable enjoyment of the neighbouring properties, and would therefore fall within the scope of the legislation.

Collaborate wrote:I'm fascinated at your suggestion that the location of the hedge has no bearing on a complaint under the act.
Nowhere in the legislation does it say that qualifying hedges next to rights of way, or located anywhere else, are outwith the scope of the legislation. As you point out its about the effect of the hedge on the enjoyment of a domestic property. It's not about the location of the hedge. That could be anywhere.
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby Collaborate » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:05 am

Have a look at this:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... light-loss

It is unlikely that a hedge of height 3 or 4m can give rise to a complaint under the act when it is separated from a domestic property by a PROW. Getting action taken under the Act isn't easy. The neighbour on the other side of the PROW will have their own boundary feature (most likely 2m tall as it borders a PROW). That will cast more shade than OP's proposed hedge.

OP - the High Hedges rules will not affect your hedge. Go ahead and plant.
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby TO » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:29 am

Collaborate wrote:Have a look at this: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... light-loss

It is unlikely that a hedge of height 3 or 4m can give rise to a complaint under the act when it is separated from a domestic property by a PROW
Unlikely being the operative word. This is also guidance, not the law.

Collaborate wrote:Getting action taken under the Act isn't easy.
Yes it is. Just follow the procedure.

Collaborate wrote:The neighbour on the other side of the PROW will have their own boundary feature (most likely 2m tall as it borders a PROW). That will cast more shade than OP's proposed hedge.
Speculation. In any event each case is judged on it's merits. If a complaint has a boundary feature 2m tall it would be irrelevant when deciding a high hedge complaint. Such a complaint would be determined on the basis of how the height of the high hedge affects the reasonable enjoyment of the complainants property. And that alone.

Collaborate wrote:OP - the High Hedges rules will not affect your hedge. Go ahead and plant.
If the hedge falls within the scope of the Act and someone considers it affects the reasonable enjoyment of their property they could, having gone through due process, make a complaint.

You can plant pretty much plant whatever you like in your own garden to grow as a hedge. If it obstructs the right of way you could be asked to remove the obstruction. If it falls within the scope of the Anti-social behaviour Act 2003 a neighbour could make a high hedge complaint. The Occupiers Liability Acts could also have an impact.

There's always something to worry about. Don't. Plant your hedge, maintain it in a sensible manner, and deal with any issues as they arise in a reasonable way, and all will be well. And don't believe everything you read on the internet.
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby Collaborate » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:37 pm

A 3m high conifer hedge right against our boundary comes nowhere near to triggering a complaint under the act. OP's 3m high hedge on the other side of a PROW will be even more secure than our neighbour's.
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby TO » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:31 pm

Collaborate wrote:A 3m high conifer hedge right against our boundary comes nowhere near to triggering a complaint under the act. OP's 3m high hedge on the other side of a PROW will be even more secure than our neighbour's.
You are confusing what constitutes a high hedge under the Anti-social behaviour Act 2003, the right of an occupier/owner of a domestic property to complain about the effect of the high hedge on their property, and the outcome of a complaint about the hedge which will be judged on its merits.

If the hedge qualifies as a high hedge, then someone can complain if they consider it affects the reasonable enjoyment of their property, and they go through due process. It doesn't necessarily follow that the complaint will be upheld.
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby Collaborate » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:19 am

Anyone can make a complaint. It's a form filling exercise. Translating that in to the LA taking action is very hard to do. and almost impossible if there's a PROW between you and the hedge.
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Re: Hedge Screening/PROW

Postby TO » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:38 am

Collaborate wrote:Anyone can make a complaint. It's a form filling exercise. Translating that in to the LA taking action is very hard to do. and almost impossible if there's a PROW between you and the hedge.
If a valid complaint is made the LPA must determine it. It's the law. That there is a right of way, or anything else, between the hedge and the complaints property is irrelevant to the LPA's duty to consider the complaint.

The guidance, which you referred to earlier, makes allowances, when calculating light loss, for hedges which are set back from the complainants property, for example, where there's a right of way between the hedge and the complainants property. All high hedge complaints are judged on their merits, including the distance the hedge is set back from the complainants boundary.
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