Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby SimpleSimon2 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:52 am

Hi All
I am trying to find out what are my rights and what I can do and expect to happen for the following issue;

We have a development of 14 houses being built by a local developer on land adjcent to our property and while we were aware that they had made a provision in the plans to replace our fencing which, in principal we did not object to. Growing inside the fencing and within our property is a hedge that runs part way along that provided us with additional privacy (the hedge is around a foot higher than the fence). However when the developers came to replace the fencing they have cut the hedge right back in parts to the main branch (trunk) rather than just the overhanging branches. Due to other issues they are now not replacing our fencing and have built new fencing around our existing fencing. The hedge looks a mess from the developers side and the privacy the hedge gave us has been reduced due the excessive removal of branches.

I have already written to the developer asking for a responce, and after two weeks I have yet to receive a one.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby despair » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:18 pm

Call the police and ask them to charge the developer with Criminal damage because they had no right to touch anything that was within your boundary
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby SimpleSimon2 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:03 pm

While I like the idea, as that would show them that I am serious about the issue and it its not just brushed under the carpet with a smirk and "Oh well its done now" attitude. Initial contact seems to suggest that its a civil issue and we should sort it out ourselves. Are there any specialist solicitors who deal with this type of dispute or where can I located pervious court case's that have set a precedence with this type of issue?

Thanks again
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby despair » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:25 pm

You still need a Police incident report number

Its still CRIMINAL DAMAGE and since they have cut back behind your own fence they know only too well its unlawful

You could put in a small claims court claim for replacement costs or mature plants

however no doubt the hedge will grow again and you can have the pleasure of letting it grow to any height you like so long as it wont fall foul of High Hedge Law

The loosers will be whoever buys the house next to you ........put up a banner stating that the developers unlawfully cut back and reduced the height of your hedge beyond the boundary/////////////that should concentrate some minds
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby Treeman » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:50 pm

despair wrote:You still need a Police incident report number

Its still CRIMINAL DAMAGE and since they have cut back behind your own fence they know only too well its unlawful

You could put in a small claims court claim for replacement costs or mature plants

however no doubt the hedge will grow again and you can have the pleasure of letting it grow to any height you like so long as it wont fall foul of High Hedge Law

The loosers will be whoever buys the house next to you ........put up a banner stating that the developers unlawfully cut back and reduced the height of your hedge beyond the boundary/////////////that should concentrate some minds



Won’t that be likely to upset the vendors and result in, oh I don’t know maybe a LEGAL ACTION to stop you interfering with the sale.

More top notch advice.
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby despair » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:53 pm

Then what do you suggest the OP does

The OPs hedge has been cut beyond the boundary and reduced in height

Both actions are Criminal Damage

The developers have not responded

It seems as usual the Police claim its civil

A notice/ banner advertising the unlawful act seems the only way fwd unless you have a better idea
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby Treeman » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:06 pm

Its not about what I suggest the OP does but for the record I suggest the OP follows the letter of the law and I suggest you stop spouting advice that will cause people problems.

Your eye for an eye attitude will lead to a land of the blind
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby Sudynim » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:46 pm

despair wrote:Then what do you suggest the OP does

The OPs hedge has been cut beyond the boundary and reduced in height

Both actions are Criminal Damage


Only if several other elements can be proven, beyond reasonable doubt. Which is very unlikely in the circumstances described.

Please stop SHOUTING this recklessly misleading advice.
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby despair » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:03 pm

I suggest you re read the OPs original posting

and stop accusing me of shouting

1)the OP has a boundary fence which has not been removed

2) The developers have both reduced the height of the hedge plus cut it back well beyond the boundary

This is criminal Damage ........the problem is getting the Police to act
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby Treeman » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:28 pm

despair wrote:I suggest you re read the OPs original posting

and stop accusing me of shouting

1)the OP has a boundary fence which has not been removed

2) The developers have both reduced the height of the hedge plus cut it back well beyond the boundary

This is criminal Damage ........the problem is getting the Police to act



Nope, I am pretty certain the problem is with your advice, address that issue and the entire forum will benefit
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:21 pm

Have you written to the head office via recorded delivery? If the wrong person got the letter, it could be dismissed.

They shouldn't have cut your hedge beyond the boundary, a decent developer would offer some sort of compensation and or apology. It is up to you if you want to take the matter further. I would imagine such a matter would go to civil court with no real guarantee of what the outcome would be.

If you can prove the developer cut your hedge in to your garden and ignores letters, you may have some chance of compensation.

They might have done this to sell properties a little quicker, which is potentially opening up a can of worms for you. When your hedge grows again, the new neighbours might not like it. But it might have been one of the developers casual labourers who didn’t have a clue.

I would write again if you think the letter hasn’t got to the right person, you might be surprised, they might offer some sort of compensation or replacement shrubs.
.
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby jonahinoz » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:42 pm

What is the gap between the two fences? Is it worth claiming?
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby arborlad » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:05 pm

SimpleSimon2 wrote: Due to other issues they are now not replacing our fencing ..............


Are these other issues completely unrelated to this one?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby SimpleSimon2 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:13 pm

Thanks again for all your replies.

In answer to the questions;

1) The new fence panal is the width of a concrete post away, so say 2"
2) The distance from the main branch to my fence panel ranges from 1" to 3" in places.
3) The letter has been recieved by the developer as another issue has been addressed, but no appology or mention of our hedge when this was done.
4) The other issue relates to the replacement of the fence panels. We were originally told they would replace our 6x6 panel with like-for-like but better quality...Great. What they actually did was add another concrete gravel board and a 4x6 panel.

I know the hedge will grow again, but I am more annoyed with the developers attitude that they just do what they want and appear to get away with it. Do I have vaild claim for compensation?
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Re: Developer has cut my hedge - what are my rights?

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:41 pm

SimpleSimon2 wrote:I know the hedge will grow again, but I am more annoyed with the developers attitude that they just do what they want and appear to get away with it. Do I have vaild claim for compensation?


Have you spoken to a solicitor? You could find one who gives a few free minutes of their time and see what they think, show before and after photos and any evidence you have.

http://www.justanswer.com/sip/uk-law?r= ... tAoddBRtIg

If you were to take them to the small claims court, you would need sufficient evidence, you would need to show that you tried to sort this out amicably and the developer doesn't want to take any responsibility for the damage or stress caused by their workers actions etc…

No one could say with any certainty whether you would win. It shouldn't cost you a fortune to take this to the small claims court, worth a try if it is important to you. Sometimes it is the principle of the matter isn't it!
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