Loss of privacy

Loss of privacy

Postby dischuffed » Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:33 am

My garden has a laurel hedge at the rear which is my responsibility according to deeds, it has always been a high hedge (about eight feet) to give privacy and to screen a storage building on the land behind. I have planted some of the laurel myself to fill gaps in the original hedge. A house was built behind several years ago and the new owners have been cutting the hedge lower each year, I have asked them to stop cutting it low, and have even agreed a height acceptable to both of us, but they continue to cut it lower each time they cut. they are cutting right across the top and at a sloping angle,up and away from them so I cant regain any height, and if I cut my side it will end up lower still. My garden is lower than theirs and I am overlooked, the hedge is sloping from one end to the other where once it was level, and after a decade or more is still see through in places. Are my neighbours allowed to cut across the top onto my side, and are they allowed to cut it low without my permission.
I have started to plant shrubs on the bank in front of the hedge to regain height and privacy but feel I shouldn't have to lose my garden space because of their actions. Any help or advice will be gratefully received.
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Postby despair » Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:14 am

Under no circumstances whatsoever can your neighbours reduce the height of your hedge

The only thing they can do is cut back anything that overhangs back to the boundary

They can also cut back the roots to the boundary but must not damage the hedge in the process

You could check out www.hedgeline.org and see the BRE guidelines etc and the coming implementation of the HH Law

If your hedge will not contravene that then i would formally write to your neighbours putting them on notice that if the do reduce the height of your hedge or cross the boundary you will sue them for trespass and criminal damage

The amounts awarded in court cases can be quite high ......again see hedgelines website for info
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loss of privacy

Postby dischuffed » Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:03 am

If my hedge is right on the boundary of my property, does my neighbour have any right to cut right across the top of the hedge onto my side keeping themselves in control of height? Or am I correct in thinking that they should only cut halfway across, up to the boundary line.
I would like to get on with all my neighbours but this one causes me much distress.
dischuffed.
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loss of privacy

Postby dischuffed » Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:06 am

Thanks for you support despair, that comment gives me hope, and I hope your hedge problem will be resolved.
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Postby despair » Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:29 am

They can only cut height at an angle up to the midway point /boundary

They cannot cut right through to your side

Even with the HH Law they would not gain permission to reduce the hedge to less than 2 metres or 6ft 6 in

I would threaten them with a claim for trespass, criminal damage etc if they continue to cut the hedge

Your best bet would be to insist that you go round and cut back to the boundary every year yourself
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loss of privacy

Postby dischuffed » Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:43 am

Thanks despair, I will try "again" to reach an agreement with my neighbour over the way the hedge is being cut, and point out that they are cutting over the boundary line which is trespass.
I dont hold up much hope though as past agreements have just been ignored on their part, and they just continue as always.
I dont want to resort to the law unless I have to, I would much rather resolve it by talking and get on with them, so they will have one more chance.
Last year at this time they continued to cut and disturbed several nesting birds, so they are not very caring people.
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Postby despair » Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:31 am

You could report them to the RSPB

Mind you I would be tempted to put a 2 m high chain link fence in tight up to the boundary their side and let them look at that instead

They wont try cutting the height of your hedge then
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Postby Alan Harris » Sun May 01, 2005 12:24 am

Dear All
Everyone still jumping the gun. Cutting someone's hedge inside their property is still trespass and will remain so, even if the desired result becomes agreed under new proceedures.

Why not try the small claims court. The neighbour has to learn to respect your property. You are entitled to your privacy.

Some steel bars threaded up through the hedge to the former height would not be anti personelle but would make a mess of offending power cutters.

Good Luck


Alan Harris.
Alan is a consulting engineer specialising in subsidence, tree roots, soils and party wall surveying.
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Postby despair » Sun May 01, 2005 9:08 am

Problem is if the hedge trimmers shattered as a result of hitting the steel bars and injured the cutter would the hedge grower land up with a huge damages claim ?
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