Hedge Cutting, who is responsible?

Postby despair » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:55 pm

I would be totally perverse and cut the whole hedge down to the ground and be done with it
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Postby aixlad » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:36 pm

despair wrote:I would be totally perverse and cut the whole hedge down to the ground and be done with it

:lol: But then I'd have "full" Dogs, determined Ramblers and lost Pedestrians stomping all over my garden! I take it you've just returned from the pub :D
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Postby despair » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:47 pm

Ah well in that case leave it at 7 metres then
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Postby Treeman » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:36 am

aixlad wrote:So you are saying that the owner of the trees is always responsible, whatever airspace they occupy, and whoevers land they have grown into? And that a Remedial Action Notice can ONLY be issued to the grower?

That’s what TO said and it’s what I said earlier.

I don’t know what distinction you are making between owner and grower. For the purposes of this case they are one and the same.

If the trees are situated (where the stem meets the ground) on your land you own them regardless of whose airspace they occupy.

Looking at this objectively

If someone were served a remedial notice for a hedge that didn’t belong to them, they would be entirely within their rights to appeal it.

Basing a remedial notice on the fact that they allowed it to grow into their airspace and have a common law right to abate the nuisance isn’t going to stand up. The simple get out for them would be to claim they simply didn’t cut the hedge and neither did the owner.

For these reasons the remedial notice must be served on the owner.

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Postby Conveyancer » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:37 pm

On reflection I am inclined to agree that a remedial notice can perhaps only be served on a hedge owner. However, I still argue that no notice can be served that requires a trespass and certainly which requires the height of the hedge to be reduced below two metres.

In the diagram the vertical boundary is represented by the blue/black/red line. The blue line represents a fence say, one metre high. The blue line with the black line measure two metres. The green repesents a dense hedge.

Image

The remedial notice requires the right hand owner to remove the hedge above the grey line. This can only be achieved by trespassing into the airspace of the left hand owner if no part of the hedge below the grey line is to be removed. To reduce the height of the hedge below the grey line without committing trepass can only be achieved by reducing the height of the hedge below the grey line. Since the hedge is dense there is no way to cut back any part of the hedge on the left hand side without reducing the height on the right hand side, where the hedge is already below two metres; this would in any event result in the height of the hedge on the left hand side being reduced below two metres, if not totally removed.
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Postby aixlad » Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:29 pm

A good diagram which goes some way to represent exactly the issue I currently have. Thank you for taking the effort of bringing some artistic creation into this thread :D . Having read all of the helpful posts offered, I'm still baffled how a Remedial Acrtion Notice can be issued if the neighbour has not cut their side of my hedge. I did offer a few years ago, but this was declined because they wanted a screen. As I understand it, the High Hedges legislation applies only to the height of a hedge and not to the overhanging branches, presumably because a neighbour is allowed in common law to cut these off. So, if a neighbour fails to cut off the overhanging branches, or fails to request me to trim them, and they in turn grow upwards, why am I responsible? I don't deny for a moment that the hedge belongs to me.

Elaborating on your excellent image, this is the reality.

Image
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Postby Puzzled » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:43 am

I agree, aixlad

I think there must be a "loop-hole" in the high hedge law. How can they issue a notice to you to cut your hedge to a reasonable height, if you have no lawful way of achieving this? If your neighbours will not allow you access, then you cannot do the work! Perhaps the only way to comply, would be for you to rip out the whole hedge from your side, but then of course you would be left with a gaping hole and probably a very unhappy neighbour who has lost his screen. You would then face the prospect of having to put up some sort of fencing to keep the dogs and other unwelcome visitors out.

I cannot remember without reading through all the previous posts, have you actually spoken to the LA who issued the notice to explain that it is impossible for you to comply?
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Postby despair » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:37 pm

Why not go and see the tree officer who made the order and explain your dilema with the aid of that excellent diagram
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Postby TO » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:25 pm

Hi

What wonderful diagrams.

Qustion Aixlad said
if a neighbour fails to cut off the overhanging branches, or fails to request me to trim them, and they in turn grow upwards, why am I responsible?


Answer Aixlad said
the hedge belongs to me.


If A's tree/hedge is causing a nuisance to B then A can enter onto B's property to abate that nuisance. I suppose here the problem is the complainant is C.

However, I would respectfully suggest that the principle is the same. If you want to, or are required to abate the nuisance caused to C you have the right to enter onto B's land to do so, so far as is necessary to get the work done.

Don't forget, non compliance with the Remedial Notice is a criminal offence. I suppose you could dig very deep and fight it through the Courts, but wouldn't it be more cost effective to do abide by the Remedial Notice or appeal decision and stop trying to pretend its not your problem
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Postby aixlad » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:40 pm

Quite right. The trees are growing on A's land which bounds onto B's land. B has chosen not to cut his side of A's trees so he can enjoy addional privacy, but now C is complaining that A's trees are too high, so the council has issued a Remedial Action order against A. :cry: A does not care whether the trees are cut or not, and A can't satisfy the requirements of the Remedial Action Notice unless he trespasses onto B's land.

Quite complicated as three people are involved, and the trees don't bound C's property!

Thanks for all the helpful responses, and thought provoking comments, my plan is to obtain further clarification from the Council, hoping they defer enforcement of the Notice until I know exactly where I stand. If B decides that I can't access his land to satisfy the requirements of the order, then I may end up being detained at HM's pleasure :roll: I'm quite stuck in this respect, with no way forward. One of the important considerations that the council needs to clarify, is that B is not obliged to allow me onto his land. I've noticed that B has deposited an amount of stone rubble under his side of the trees, so even if access is granted, it will still be awkward to complete the work unhindered. This I can't do much about, and he could add further rubble which would make it harder in future years! B is a neighbourly kind of guy, and I see no reason to fall out with him, he's a good guy who keeps his property tidy.

I'll let subscribers to this forum know how I progress. Thank you again for all your valuable responses.

aixlad :lol:
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Postby TO » Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:33 am

Hi

Aixlad says
A can't satisfy the requirements of the Remedial Action Notice unless he trespasses onto B's land.

The point is as long as you are abating the nuisance you can enter onto the land.

Aixlad says
If B decides that I can't access his land

He can't prevent you getting what is yours, even if that is a few pieces of hedge you don't want.

Look at it another way.

A's apple tree overhangs B's garden. A is entitled to enter onto B's garden to pick the apples from the overhanging branches and collect the windblown ones. They are after all A's property.

The point is A is not committing tresspass so long as he only gets what is his and doesn't hang around.

Whether its an apple or leylandi branch it remains the property of A and he is entitled to get it.

Aixlad says
A does not care whether the trees are cut or not
.
Well you should, as stated before it is a criminal offence not to comply with the Remedial Notice.
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Postby andrew54 » Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:46 am

aixlad wrote:...... B has deposited an amount of stone rubble under his side of the trees......... he's a good guy who keeps his property tidy.

This doesn't quite add up! The council might take planning enforcement action if he uses his garden to store waste.
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Postby aixlad » Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:54 pm

andrew54 wrote:
aixlad wrote:...... B has deposited an amount of stone rubble under his side of the trees......... he's a good guy who keeps his property tidy.

This doesn't quite add up! The council might take planning enforcement action if he uses his garden to store waste.

Like most of us having a "junk room" in the house, many of us also have an area of garden where we store surplus items that we wish to keep for later use!

TO wrote:A's apple tree overhangs B's garden. A is entitled to enter onto B's garden to pick the apples from the overhanging branches and collect the windblown ones. They are after all A's property.

I didn't know that if your Apple tree overhung the boundary that you were legally entitled to trespass, pick the apples and collect those that had fallen. What about if my neighbour has driven his mower over my windfall crop and damaged them? Can anyone verify that this is indeed the case; that you have legal right of access to pick your apples, trim your hedge, etc. when it involves trespassing on someone elses property?

Thanks :lol:
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Postby Puzzled » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:15 pm

I do not know the relevant "laws" involving such matters, but I cannot see how this can be the case. If you can only go on to neighbouring land to maintain your property under the "Access to neighbouring land Act" either by agreement or by applying to the Court for an order (if permission is denied), I cannot see how you can go on to neighbouring land to collect apples or trim hedges without agreement. Perhaps Conveyancer may be able to clarify this for you.
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Postby aixlad » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:17 pm

Good point, Puzzled. I think my question to the Council should be something like this; "......as you've issued me with a requirement to maintain my trees on my neighbours side of their boundary, does your Remedial Action Notice implicitly agree permission to enter my neighbour's land in order to satisfy the requirements of the Notice?" Without ongoing permission I can't possibly guarantee compliance with the requirements of the Notice, this is why I intend to challenge the Notice.

TO wrote:A's apple tree overhangs B's garden. A is entitled to enter onto B's garden to pick the apples from the overhanging branches and collect the windblown ones. They are after all A's property.

I'd like to ask TO if he/she has ever exercised the entitlement he/she refers to?
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